University of Idaho
Solarization is a simple nonchemical technique that captures radiant heat energy from the sun. This energy causes physical, chemical, and biological changes in the soil. These changes lead to control or suppression of soilborne plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and pests along with weed seed and seedlings.
How to Solarize Soil
The area to be solarized should be level and free of debris and large clods. The soil should be watered if the soil is dry. The soil should not be saturated but have the crumbly damp look that the soil would have at planting. Place clear plastic over the soil surface and bury the edges in a foot deep trench. The plastic can be clear construction grade plastic and vary in thickness from 1 to 6 mils. The thinner plastic (1-2 mils) will allow better soil heating since it will reflect less solar energy. The plastic should be left in place for 4-6 weeks. Solarization is most effective when done in June and July. However, depending on your geographic location, solarization may also be effective in May, August, and September.
Links to Other Sites With Information on Soil Solarization
RETURN TO HOME GARDEN PAGE
RETURN TO ID. PLT. DIS. RPTR. MAIN PAGE (without adding frame)
RETURN TO ID. PLT. DIS. RPTR. MAIN PAGE (with frames)