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Old 07-12-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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Sunrise Solarization whacks pathogens, adds nutrients

Solarization whacks pathogens, adds nutrients
Joe Eaton and Ron Sullivan
Published 04:00 a.m., Sunday, July 26, 2009

Solarization whacks pathogens, adds nutrients - SFGate
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Solar-powered pest control? That's part of what soil solarization is about. It's a fairly low-tech way of using the sun's energy to destroy pathogens and weeds in soil. But soil scientists say that's only part of the benefit. Solarization also provides a nutritional bonus for garden plants.

Soviet researcher S.E. Grooshevoy pioneered this technique in 1938 to control tobacco root rot fungus. He placed a plastic sheet over the soil, which allowed it to heat up enough to destroy pathogens and weeds.

Ed Brennan, a San Francisco State University biologist, recommends painter's drop cloths from the hardware store. Brennan favors clear plastic sheeting over black: "When you use black plastic, it's not going to…
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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Default Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes Management

Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes Management
Published 10/08

Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes Management Guidelines--UC IPM
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Soil solarization is a nonchemical method for controlling soilborne pests using high temperatures produced by capturing radiant energy from the sun. The method involves heating the soil by covering it with a clear plastic tarp for 4 to 6 weeks during a hot period of the year when the soil will receive the most direct sunlight. When properly done, the top 6 inches of the soil will heat up to as high as 140°F, depending on the location. The plastic sheets allow the sun’s radiant energy to be trapped in the soil, heating the top 12 to 18 inches and killing a wide range of soilborne pests, such as weeds, pathogens, nematodes, and insects.

The effect of solarization is greatest at the surface of the soil and decreases at deeper soil depths. The maximum temperature of soil solarized in the field is usually 108° to 131°F at a depth of 2 inches and 90° to 99°F at 18 inches. Control of soil pests is usually best for organisms found in the upper 6 inches of earth.

Solarization leaves no chemical residues and is a simple method appropriate for the home gardener or the large scale farmer. It can improve soil structure by increasing the availability of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for growing healthy plants, as well as controlling a range of pests…
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Default Solarizing Soil

Solarizing Soil
Submitted by Meghan Shinn on September 20, 2011 – 7:55 pm

Solarizing Soil | Horticulture - The Art & Science of Smart Gardening
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Question: We want to clear an area of lawn and replace it with a vegetable garden. I’ve heard of “solarizing”—can you tell me if this would be the best way to go and can we do it over the winter so we’ll be ready to plant in spring?

Answer: Soil solarization is typically used to eradicate certain pests and diseases that inhabit the soil and harm plants. These include nematodes, verticillium and fusarium wilt, certain root rots, damping off and crown gall. Solarization also kills beneficial soil organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, but these grow back quickly after the tarp is removed. Solarization is sometimes used to destroy weeds, and it could be used to kill certain kinds of lawn, but not over the winter, because the method relies on heat. Solarization typically works on only the top six inches of soil, so if you have weeds or turfgrass with deeper roots, they may resprout.

To solarize an area…
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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I have nuked things with solarization. Here's a website I keep in my favorites, Wayne Schmidt's Soil Solarization Page. I liked how he experimented with different techniques and added photos.
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Just an FYI, UC Soil Solarization Information.
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