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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:57 pm 
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Location: winnsboro.s.c.
Hello All,
I need an alt. to bleach or lysol to sanitize propagation pots.It can not contain any chemicals.It still needs to kill viruses and dieseases.I will be using a cold frame and pots to propagate outside,
please let me know.If all fails it seems that maybe can buy throw away containers,would rather not do that due to it is already a throw away society and also the costs.Thank-you for your time
LAP


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:02 pm 
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Orange oil is the answer to all your safe cleaning and sanitation needs. Go here for an explanation: http://www.texastko.com/
Tony M


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:27 am 
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Orange TKO is a great and versatile product. It is a very good cleaner, but to my knowledge it does not sanitize (disinfect).

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:47 pm 
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lou ann pack wrote:
Hello All,
I need an alt. to bleach or lysol to sanitize propagation pots. It can not contain any chemicals.It still needs to kill viruses and dieseases. I will be using a cold frame and pots to propagate outside, please let me know. If all fails it seems that maybe can buy throw away containers,would rather not do that due to it is already a throw away society and also the costs. Thank-you for your time LAP


If your pots are clean -- no caked mud or dirt -- then you might try concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Maybe 10% H2O2; kitchen strength peroxide is not very effective on a number of bacteria species. You might also try alcohol, provided you're not using it near a fire. With alcohol, it mostly is the drying/desication that does the job, so let it dry. Depending on what the material is, you could use steam. Another thing you could use is sunlight, provided you can expose the surfaces to the ultraviolet. If the pot surfaces are free of dirt and grease, soap and water should go a long way by washing off the microbes. Using extreme pH also can be effective, so doing an acid bath (probably vinegar or 10-20% acetic acid) followed by an alkaline bath (baking soda, dilute lye water, washing soda) should work to some extent. I'm not entirely informed about borax, but it might help. If your pots are not plastic, you could rig a solar autoclave to heat-sterilize them. I believe the go of the orange oil-as-anti-microbial claim is that its detergent/solvent character makes food and/or attachment substrates unavailable to bacteria in the micelle domain. I can't say whether that particular claim reaches viruses and fungi, though. It's possible that D-limonene could have an adverse effect on some plastics, but that would easy to test. A combination of eucalyptus and alcohol (i.e., Listerine) should work, but the eucalyptus might be costly.

Obviously, you're concerned with plant pathogens, so I'd focus on the likely candidates and choose a method to address them. A better question might be whether sterilizing the pots is effective or necessary.

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 Post subject: sanitizing pots
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:07 pm 
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tony m, I went to the website you posted and couldn't find anything related to disinfecting pots. Could you tell me where it is ?? Also, why the need to sanitize pots; whats wrong ??

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:25 am 
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What's wrong with bleach? A capful in a gallon of water is all you need. It barely even smells. And after a day, all the chlorine is gone and you can reuse the water in the garden or on your compost pile.

Can you use alcohol if bleach is a problem? At least alcohol is organic.

Hydrogen peroxide (Oxyclean) is a good one, too. It is a chemical, though.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:41 am 
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I just read elsewhere that you have a health reason for not having chemicals around. So my previous suggestions won't help you.

If you are using excellent compost in your potting soil, you should not have a problem with viruses and disease. When pots are cleaned out, one good sterilizer is sunlight. If you could put the pots in the dishwasher and heat dry them, that should take care of any disease. Then keep them in the sun to stop anything else from growing. If the pots are plastic, you might ruin them with the heat cycle but the dishwasher should be fine otherwise.

I've seen amazing things in organic greenhouses. One of the local guys has huge fish tanks in his gh. He has four 10,000 gallon tanks with bubblers running off of an automobile air pump all the time. That 40,000 gallons of water under glass keeps his greenhouse very warm and humid all year long. Plus he gets fish all the time. He has no biofilter in his tanks, just compost. His floor is cedar chips if I remember correctly.

One of the amazing things I saw was a soil experiment he was doing. He had eight little plants (wish I could remember what plant) in 8 inch pots. They all started out with Wal*Mart potting soil but with his additives. All the plants were jammed together on a tray so that the leaves were all touching each other. One of the plants was covered in aphids but the others were aphid free. The aphids could easily walk from one plant to the other, but they chose that one plant. Before I saw that I believed that once a greenhouse got "infested with bugs" it was all over but the spraying. Now I understand that healthy plants will fight off pests and that healthy plants come from healthy soils.

Good luck with your endeavor. I hope I was more helpful this time.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 12:32 pm 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
What's wrong with bleach? ...Hydrogen peroxide (Oxyclean) is a good one, too. It is a chemical, though.


I like using hydrogen peroxide. I stopped using bleach. Just a day in the sunlight can do a bit of good as well, especially in the summer. I would think that letting the pots dry out a while would kill most pathogens. If the pots were clay, you could put them in the oven, maybe.

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