What Does Sterile Environment Mean?
In horticulture, a sterile environment often refers to an indoor grow facility that is free from plant pathogens like bacteria, pest insects, molds, mildews, and weeds. In most cases, the operator of the facility has taken great steps to ensure the environment is sterile by using a variety of methods that won't negatively affect future plant growth.
A sterile environment may also refer to any smaller gardening area, grow system, or potting mix that is clean, healthy, and free from contaminants. For example, a hydroponics system may be a sterile environment for plants once everything has been cleaned. Techniques to achieve a sterile environment include ozone generators, steaming, UV filtration, diluted bleach solutions, and general tidying up.
In gardening, a sterile environment is important for the proper growth and development of plants. Indeed, soil can harbor weeds, diseases, and pests, all of which can prevent a plant from thriving. Gardeners can easily purchase a sterile potting mix but it is also possible to sterilize your soil at home. Steaming is one of the most popular ways to create a sterile gardening environment at home.