lou ann pack wrote:
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.