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Solarizing soil

Dana Brown wrote:

> I'm always one to ask the question.  What is solarizing and how do you
> do it?


Solarizing soil is a method by which you utilize the sun and water to
litterly cook all the bad things out of your iris bed.  Start by tilling
or spading your bed as usual, add organic matter and fertilizer, then
retill or spade.  Place 'clear' plastic sheeting with UV inhibitors over
the bed with a soaker hose or similar tubing underneath.  Its important
to keep the bed wet during the duration. Tuck or place soil around the
edges to keep the plastic in place.  The time to do this is during the
hottest time of the year usually June thru August.  Keep the plastic in
place for 4 to 6 weeks making sure the soil is wet at all times.  When
the sun hits the clear plastic it will be magnified and heat the soil to
140 degrees down to 2 inches, 105 at 18 inches.  With this heat and
length of time most weed seeds, harmful bacteria, most fungus and
certain microscopic pests will be destroyed.  After removing the plastic
you may plant your iris as usual, but watch out, as you will be amazed
at their growth and bloom.

Rick Tasco
Central California in the lower Sierra Nevada foothills.

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