[Market-farming] solarization

Wiediger, Alison alison.wiediger at hart.kyschools.us
Thu Oct 29 08:26:07 EDT 2009

Actually, some things survive depending on actual temperatures achieved
and the depth at which they are achieved. We have found that nut sedge
survives very well, but most weeds do not.  It's a great way to get am
almost weed free bed. Most soil life, including beneficials, is killed,
including pathogenic fungi.  However, research suggests that the
beneficial fungi rebound more quickly, leading to a better balance in
the soil.  Also, there is a nutrient "flush" and crops benefit from that
for a short time.  We achieve the best temperatures in July and August
when ambient temps are highest.  And we hope for mostly sunny days.
This past summer was not the best for solarizing.  Most important,
remember that the effect only goes down a very few inches, and if you
"till" below that zone, you will bring weed seeds and disease organisms
right back to the surface. 
For disease, especially sclerotinia, we also are finding bio-fumigation
using a mustard plant, is pretty effective, and is easier to manage on
small areas (like a bed or a part of a bed in our high tunnels) than
solarization.  It's fast( about 6 weeks or less in summer), has a larger
window (whenever mustard will grow), doesn't burn organic matter, and
the seed is not expensive.
Alison Wiediger, Au Naturel Farm, SC KY


From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Todd
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 10:46 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] solarization was carbon loss

Absolutely everything dies.

OnWed, Oct 28, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Road's End Farm
<organic87 at frontiernet.net> wrote:

	On Oct 28, 2009, at 6:05 PM, Garth & Kim Travis wrote:

		It is clear plastic, over a very wet bed,
		and weights along the edges so the bed can't dry out.
Sun can get hot
		any time of the year.  I have been sunburned in Nothern
Alberta in
		January.  You want to steam the bed to kill disease and

	Doesn't this also kill all your beneficial soil life?
	-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
	Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
	Market-farming mailing list
	Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

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