Soil Solarization

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ga.prime
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Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:35 am

Has anybody ever used this technique? How did you like the results? Did it kill nutgrass tubers?

Soil Solarization for Control of Soilborne Pest Problems. Carl Strausbaugh University of Idaho
http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/ag/plantdisease/soilsol.htm
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby Jogeephus » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:51 pm

I tried something like that some years ago but I think I must have bought too cheap of plastic. Idea sounded good to me though.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:11 pm

Jogeephus wrote:I tried something like that some years ago but I think I must have bought too cheap of plastic. Idea sounded good to me though.

The idea sounds very good. I'm going to try it on some patches in the garden that are infested with nutgrass to see how good it works on them. I'll let you know what happens. Probably be next year before I reach a conclusion.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:23 pm

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The plastic is so hot you can hardly touch it. It's 100x20ft, 4mils thick. This was late afternoon on a day that the temp only got into the low 90's.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby Fred Belknap » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:52 pm

Wonder if it will kill bugs that over winter in the ground? Probably just the surface gets hot.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:36 pm

Fred, one website I looked at said it would kill nematodes, insects, insect eggs, fungal disease organisims, and any kind of weeds or weed seeds down to about 6 inches deep- in other words, pretty well sterilize the soil- if you leave the plastic down for 6 weeks during the summer. It'll be next year of course before I find out how well it worked for me. You need to have good moisture in the ground before you put the plastic down and I got a good inch of rain on it last Friday night and got the plastic on there Saturday morning. Plenty more hot sunny days left here for heating up the ground under the plastic. We'll see how it goes. :D
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby Jogeephus » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:34 am

That's looking promising.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby skyeagle » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:32 pm

Try to kill bermuda grass with this method did not work. That was in June also.
Ill try again next year
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:46 pm

Rhizomes probably too deep to get killed by the heat. Same with nutgrass tubers I expect.

How long did you leave the plastic on, skyeagle?
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby skyeagle » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:23 pm

left it on six weeks it was clear I'm going to try black next year.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby Jogeephus » Tue May 10, 2011 9:00 pm

How did it work?
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby ga.prime » Tue May 10, 2011 11:11 pm

Jogeephus wrote:How did it work?

:D Nutgrass was growing through the plastic by the middle of October. Should've had it on there a month earlier! Wasn't a total waste though- seems to be a lot less pigweed and crabgrass this year. Even the nutgrass seems depleted, but it's early. Time will tell if fungal diseases and nematodes took any kind of a hit. I didn't stir up the soil at all planting it- just sprayed roundup on it to kill the winter weeds and no-till planted it with a push planter. I have peas and okra in that spot where the plastic was. I'll get a pic in a day or two and post.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby Jogeephus » Thu May 12, 2011 10:55 am

Seems like it was nutgrass that poked through my plastic as well. Can't remember. Ended up moving shortly thereafter so I can't say how good it did other things. Its amazing that a plant can poke a hole in plastic though.

I had a tragedy in my garden this year. Brought in a bunch of cow manure to build the soil. Apparantly, some of the feed the cattle ate had picloram in it. Corn is doing wonderful but the broadleafed plants are a bust. Not happy with this at all but at least my pigweed problem seems to have disappeared so maybe its not a total loss. I will say I'll think twice about going organic.
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby alisonb » Thu May 12, 2011 12:26 pm

ga.prime wrote:Time will tell if fungal diseases and nematodes took any kind of a hit.

That will be interesting to know. I have recently hauled out about a 1/4 acre of parsley - most of the roots were effected by nematodes :shock: .
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Re: Soil Solarization

Postby LRTX1 » Thu May 12, 2011 3:20 pm

I've had good luck controling the nematodes by planting field peas and rye....I plant my okra(nematode magnet) in march-april, aug 1st I plant peas, then rye in late Oct. Something with the rye and peas will starve the nematodes out.
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