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Re: Solarization for the home gardener

>Did I miss the Email that explained how to solarize a home garden?
>If so, could someone please forward it to me? TIA
>Carol Blais CBLAIS@worldnet.att.net
>Western Mass., where the irises are buried deep in Mother Nature's
>white mulch (except where my husband drove his plow over them!)


To solarize a piece of ground:
1. thoroughly water the part to be solarized
2. arrange a piece of plastic over the ground.
3. seal the edges of the plastic by burying them under soil. It should be
reasonably air tight to keep the heat in.

That said, it might not work for you. It is of questionable use here. I
think the nighttime lows are too low even during the summer to produce the
sort of heat this needs. People I know who have tried it have said you have
to use BLACK  plastic in this area because otherwise you'll provide a nice
warm growing area for those very weed seeds you're trying to kill. If it
doesn't kill weed seeds, I seriously doubt it will kill the microbes and
pathogens you are also trying to get rid of. Graham would probably know
better than I would, but it seems that every English book I read talks
about chemical fumigation to accomplish the same thing. I suspect they've
got the same problem, not enough solar heat to do the job.

Kay Cangemi
New York, USDA zone 5 - where summer lows above 70F are complained about
for weeks, normal summer lows are in the low 60s, and we can grow lupines
and walk on the blacktop with bare feet without getting fried.

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