From what I have read, heating the soil in
the microwave or an oven can sterilize the soil by
killing all the bacteria/fungi in it with
heat. It can also kill weed seeds that might
be in the soil. However, some thermophilic (thermo
means heat, philic means loving, so, heat-loving)
bacteria can survive this. Some farmers use
steam to sterilize soil, which can be more
powerful. From what I've seen, there are lots of
methods of doing this including putting clear
plastic over the soil to heat it in the sun.
Apparently even ancient Egyptians and Indians did
this, but not with plastic which was only invented
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