Do you start seeds indoor and if so, do you pasteurize your soil?

It seems most gardeners use potting soil so that bugs and diseases are prevented in seed starting. But, you can "pasteurize" or "solarize" soil for that purpose by putting plastic or glass over a bed and letting the sun really cook it. I've also heard that some folks just use compost. I've never done much seed starting, preferring to plant straight into the beds and cover if need be. But, I want to get into market gardening, so I may need that 30 day head start. What do you do?


  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good Lord, first they "pasteurized" any foods they can get their hands on, & now some even COOK ?? the very soil that starts the life of a seed. - What next ? - No, we use the same Healthy soil INdoor for germination, as we later use outside in the garden; - and we have no "bugs, nor infestations" either.

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2019

    I start many seeds indoors, use a combination of garden soil and compost with good results. No problem with critters.

  • wbt.affiliates
    wbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    I never heard of "pasteurizing" soil. Interesting concept that could only happen in these times when plastic and glass are so available. Living in a mountain valley, if I want a crop I need to start my seeds inside, but, no, I don't pasteurize my soil first, even though we are still building up the poor rocky soil in our beds. And, no, I don't have a problem with diseases or critters.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    When I first started growing in containers 17 years ago I did pasteurize the soil after the first year since that is what everything said that I should do. It is done to kill the bacteria (both good and bad) in the soil. The following year I did not do it because of time and never had a problem for the remainder of the time that I was doing container gardening--I still have a few containers but don't do as much container gardening as I once did.

    I used to start seeds indoors too but stopped as I ran into more problems during the hardening off stage (in 2002 as well) along with other things.

    Once I started to grow in a raised bed and in the ground I have broadcasted and/or sown seeds into the snow, a hard frost, and the like, sometimes, I may start harvesting before others who are growing them indoors and then transplanting them outdoors. It will depend on where you live and how the weather is during the Winter.

    You can also add protection if your plants start to germinate and there is a frost, unless it's a plant that can tolerate cool or cold weather.

    Good luck!

    By the way, what are you thinking about growing? You can also do stuff like garlic that is planted in the Fall (October or November) and will be harvested the following year (here it is either in June or July).

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    My philosophy has always been to broadcast seed.... basically jus looking at the days to maturity. I Usually grow one crop in another as it I peaking.. I have never done all the high performance stuff. So.. I'm trying to figure out what I should implement. If folks are okay with just buying what is in season... GREAT! If I need to grow more of something.. early or late… and I can... well, okay

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Cool. I typically broadcast too. I also use the earliest planting time for my region and broadcast the seeds then. I will typically plant different seeds on the same day in the same area that I want to grow them (based on companion planting).