What is Bioactive Soil?

What is Bioactive Soil?

We get asked a lot about whether our soil mixes are sterile, and the short answer is "Nope!" A sterile mix lacks all the beneficial components that make soil healthy and nourishing. Let's delve into why we recommend a Bio-Active Blend and when a Sterile Blend may be necessary, depending on what you are growing.

Sterilised Soil:
There are a few instances where a sterilised blend is appropriate, such as when growing sensitive seeds like cacti seeds and fern spores. Occasionally, when transferring tissue-cultured plants, a Sterile Blend may also be required. However, when starting out, there are very few occasions where you would need to use a Sterile Blend.

The reason these plants require a Sterile Blend is that they have compromised or undeveloped immune systems. The microorganisms present in our Soil Blends, instead of forming beneficial relationships, would become food for these vulnerable plants.

Bioactive Soil:
A bioactive blend refers to an environment where various organisms work together to create stability and sustainability. A bioactive blend promotes plant health.

All our Premium Substrates are teeming with life and packed with microorganisms!

A significant contribution to the bioactivity of our substrate comes from our Coco Coir, which is inoculated with mycorrhizal mycelium. Our Worm Castings also contain a variety of mycelium and beneficial bugs and microorganisms.

This abundance of life is highly beneficial for your houseplants. In the wild, tropical plants have complex relationships with mutually beneficial microorganisms. At Soil.Ninja, we strive to provide a fraction of that natural environment within the home setting. It is crucial for plants to have access to these microorganisms as they significantly enhance nutrient and water uptake. This is particularly important for houseplants, as they often struggle to achieve efficient nutrient absorption in our home environments. Additionally, these microorganisms break down organic matter, providing essential nutrients to our plants.

To learn more about mycelium and beneficial bugs, check out our two linked blogs:

Plants, Soil & Fungi
Beneficial and Predatory Bugs

If you intend to purchase our soil and need a sterile blend for a specific plant, follow these steps:

The Oven Method:
Preheat your oven to a low heat, around 100 degrees centigrade or lower.
Place the substrate in the oven for approximately an hour. This should eliminate all living matter in the soil.

Hydrogen Peroxide Flush:
Use a pre-mixed 3-5% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Flush the soil with enough hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly wet it. Ensure proper saturation.
Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse with fresh water.

If using concentrated hydrogen peroxide, please dilute it with distilled water to maintain the appropriate concentration. Avoid using tap water, as it may introduce harmful chlorines and heavy metals. We recommend purchasing pre-mixed 3-5% hydrogen peroxide instead of attempting to dilute it yourself.

The Microwave Method:
If using the microwave method, work with small amounts of soil.
Heat the soil in short intervals, such as 15 seconds at a time. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times. Do Not Overheat!

If you plan to store the sterilised substrate for later use, place it in a sterilised bag or sterile storage box.

We hope this explanation has helped you understand the difference between the two types of soils. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us. We're always here to assist you!

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