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Pasteurization of Media for Nursery Operations

Grant Recipient:

UHM, CTAHR, Cooperative Extension Service, Hawaii County
UHH, College of Agriculture, Foresty and Natural Resource Management

Project Period:

August 1999 to December 31, 2000

Principal Investigator:

Melvin S. Nichina, Marcel M. C. Tsang and Sheldon Furutani

Downloads:

Non-Chemical Approaches for Reducing Nematodes.doc (458 KB)

Description
Commercial nuseries in Hawaii producing ornamental potted plants generate large quantities of used potting media. Most nurseries do not reuse the media unless it is free of fungal organisms, insects and weeds. These pathogens are typically controlled by fumigation or heating with steam but these treatments are prohibitively expensive. Having an economical means of treating used media is an important issue as potting media is generally imported into Hawaii and the Western Pacific Islands. This project built on studies that demonstrated that exposure to moist heat can destroy most organisms and constructed a prototype solar unit to pasteurize potting soil to meet Hawaii's needs.

Project goals and objectives
1. Dssign and construct a demonstration solarization unit which can heat potting soil to 70C (158F).
2. Size the unit to provide sufficient sterile media for a commercial fruit propagation nursery.
3. Design and construct the unit to minimize costs.

Outcomes
a demonstration solarization unit which succesfully pasteurizes potting soil for small nurseries

Project Links
Data not required at time of project

American Farmland Trust