Burned soil in oven, how toxic is it? Useful for something?

orangedoorMarch 13, 2014

I had sterilized some soil in the oven, but I left it there to cool off. ... My wife was just making dinner and preheated the oven to 350 ... then yelled "WTF honey!" My response, "did you just heat the oven?!"
Then of course I apologized for leaving stuff in the oven, definitely my bad.

But now I have soil that is certainly toxic to plants to some degree. That is according to the websites I read about how to sterilize soil in the oven -- don't let it go over 200F they say. I could not find information on what to do if there's an oops though.

The soil in question is a mix of used potting soil from various dead plants of different sources. I'm airing out the kitchen because I'm concerned about what happens to possible fertilizers and whatever else was in the soils when it burns, at least at 350F. Any input on that would be helpful too.

Do I need to dump the soil in the trash? Can I detoxify it somehow? Would it ruin our compost?

Thanks for any info or suggestions.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Because this occurred in a household oven, I'm assuming it's a reasonable amount. Yes, it could be toxic to plants you pot up in it. But I doubt there will be any problem if it's mixed with a much larger amount of compost and/or into an area of the garden soil.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:15AM
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Everything I have seen about sterilizing soil in the oven simply says do not allow the soil temperature to exceed 200 degrees F. I see nothing that tells me that would make the soil toxic to plants.
Take a cue from volcanoes, the lava that is spewed out from them is much hotter then anything you could reach in your oven and yet plants grow in that after it cools.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 6:26AM
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There are more ways than I realized. Besides oven, there is
microwave and pressure cooker, according to --

Laura Pottorff, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension horticulturist and plant pathologist

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:11PM
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