"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Today, I am baking dirt.................

no............my cooking job has not sent me over the edge..................I am baking potting soil that has been sitting in the past summer's containers, that is.
This is the time of year that I start preparations to get my greenhouse in order and all of the plants moved into the greenhouse before the cold weather sits in. Instead of throwing pots of used potting soil out, I reuse it in the next year's spring planting. It saves me a lot of $$$ and it is great to add my compost to. I empty all of the unused containers and crumble them up into a large baking pan. I then bake the soil at 350.F for about an hour.(This is an important thing to do)......... This gets rid of pests that may be hiding in the soil and it also destroys any un-sprouted seeds, insuring that the soil will be pure for the next spring planting.


I buy large bags of bird seed from a local farm store and the bags that this seed comes in are made of plastic. These bags are wonderful to store my "purified potting soil " into. I seal the bag well and this keeps the soil fresh and dry.



Sigh..................this is how my poor neglected greenhouse looks. The main reason.............I do not use it during the hot west Texas summer season, because it is one big plastic oven during that time. Nothing can survive in it during this period. And my "new job" has also kept me from the constant care that I use to labor on it. However, the fresh cool weather we have been getting has revived me and I make the most of my time off........working with the greenhouse and my plants. This weekend, I have cleaned out the greenhouse and cleaned the shelves, and I have gotten the space heater out and ready. All I need to do now, is to move the plants in and cover the greenhouse in plastic sheeting to seal off the soon to be coming cold weather.
I also cleaned out the empty planting containers. This is also important to do so that when planting time arrives next spring, clean ,pure pots will be ready.



If you plan to move your plants inside or if you have a greenhouse to move them into, take time to clean the outside of each plant pot and spray with a pesticide to remove any harmful insects that may be hiding within the leaves of the plants. This insures a healthy, clean, pest free, environment for all of your plants and plant area.
How about you?
Have you already begun to start taking your plants in for the cooler weather? What are some of the things you do to prepare for the cold winter ahead?
I would love to hear.





18 comments:

Lanny said...

It is a busy time of the year for sure. We are looking forward to Mid November to Mid January and a bit of a break, still lots to do then too but not quite so much.

The Gingerbread House said...

Hey Kathleen, your such a busy little bee! I didn't have much in pots that I have to put away for safety sake I had planned to do a few things but didn't get around to it! I like the idea of "sterilizing" the soil for future use.
Being a farmer isn't easy..Maybe l that's why God only gave me "Almost an Acre" :o) Ginny

IanH said...

The only thing we do in preparation for the cold weather is to toss out everything and walk away. With about a month of temperatures below -30c and 3 months between -10 and -30C, there is no point of trying to heat anything. It makes the summer more of an anticipation ( all two weeks of it).

Muddling Through said...

I had forgotten about baking dirt. I saw that on an old PBS gardening show years ago, and started baking my potting soil, too. I've just been lazy lately and bought big bags of potting soil and used those. I need to be smart like you this year! Thanks for the reminder.

Debbie said...

Those look strangely like some bargain brand brownies (say that 5 times quickly) that I baked recently. No, they didn't taste any better than they looked!
Kathleen, you are so thorough!
Good job. Your hard work always pays off from the looks of your garden. Happy Fall!

Julie Harward said...

That is so amazing...I have never heard of anyone doing that..what a clever ides! :D

Irma's Rose Cottage said...

Hi Kathleen! I have never heard of baking dirt! Where do you bake your dirt in? I guess I will need to google it and find out more about this. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Irma :)

Mini said...

Hi Kathleen, I love reading about your garden :)

Daisy said...

Looks like you've been hard at work, Kathleen. I never thought to bake dirt to get rid of pests. You have so many good ideas. No wonder you always have such wonderful looking plants! Hope you have a lovely week ahead. :)

Conni said...

A greenhouse is definitely on my wish list. Thanks for the tips! I had never heard of baking soil before... and gardening soil is expensive!

Suma Subramaniam said...

Hi Kathleen,

Baking dirt seems like a great idea. I'd like to try that with the potting soil I have remaining in my garage. Got some pruning to do for all plants in my garden. Thanks for the reminder:-)

Best,
Suma,

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

I'm exhausted just reading your post. I barely have time to cook dinner much less cook dirt! No green house so my plants are worried about their life expectancy..

Pat

Bev C said...

Hello Kathleen,

Good luck with your garden. It is interesting to see how you cope with your conditions.
Happy days.
Bev.xoxo

Vickie said...

Hi Kathleen - unfortunately I don't have a greenhouse, and have mostly perennials and bulbs and such. I have saved a bunch of my pots and trays from the nurseries, so if I can find a good place to make some starts for my veggie garden for next spring, I will. Don't know where that would be as yet...

I never thought about cleaning the pots and baking the soil but those are two excellent ideas! I'm glad you posted that. It'd be terrible to re-use something that would be harmful to your next year's crops! I will keep that in mind! Thanks for that great tip.

KathyB. said...

What good tips. I have never thought of these things before. I am guilty of wasting the potted soil after the season is over,but have never considered such easy measures to re-use what I already have in abundance. Good ideas and tips for the potted plants that need to come indoors too.

I hope you are able to spend more time in your greenhouse soon. It is hard to hunger after needlework time, gardening time, all the while working away from home, yet I read gratefulness to God for your blessings into your posts. Blessings to you Kathleen~

grammy said...

Enjoyed reading about the ins and outs of it... even if I am not much of a gardener. I wanted some Mums for Fall.. but was not able to fork out the cash for them (o:

Farmchick said...

Wow--that is a great idea...baking the potting soil...though it would take me a very long time to do it with all the pots and containers I use! ;)

I pull out all the plants from our gardens and pull the flowers too...i clip down the perenials and prepare the beds for winter...our very COLD {down to 20 below--60 below windchill at times!}

Come say hi... :)

agrigirl said...

I have never heard of or thought of baking dirt. Very interesting post.