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Re: Compost and retouching on Solarization

  • To: iris-talk@onelist.com
  • Subject: Re: Compost and retouching on Solarization
  • From: Rick Tasco/Roger Duncan <randrcv@sierratel.com>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 23:24:14 -0700
  • References: <199809010312.WAA17759@eastland.net>

From: Rick Tasco/Roger Duncan <randrcv@sierratel.com>

Donald Eaves wrote:
> From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>
> Re:
> Weeds, wastes, composts and such.  This year I tried the formula from this
> list and solarized the main new iris bed.  Lots of ground up leaves,
> composted
> cow manure, gypsum, alfalfa pellets, some organic fertilizers, lots of lava
> sand
> and even some topsoil were added (the area was a hole after all the
> boulders
> I could pry out were removed).  On top a long soaker hose, then clear UV
> plastic
> was added and weighted down.  This was all complete by the 3rd week in May
> and the area cooked all summer.  The plastic has been off for a little over
> 3 weeks
> now and I have yet to have a seed or a little piece of root pop up.
> Amazing!
> I have several little yard plants that are almost impossible to eradicate.
> I'm
> wondering if the wild onion will yet make an appearance.  I'm going to try
> this
> on the greenbriars!
> Donald Eaves
> donald@eastland.net
> Texas Zone 7 and I wonder just how hot it did get this past summer under
> that
> plastic.


Congratulations on solarizing your iris bed.  It takes some effort, but
you have begun to see the benefits.  And yes it is amazing and wait and
see how your iris grow in it.

From my experience using solarizing (four years), I have found it to
control the following:

1. It kills almost all weed seeds.  Only burr clover is partially
controlled here.

2. It kills the dreaded fungus, Sclerotium Rolfsii.

3. It kills root knot nematodes.

Other lesser known pathogens are probably controlled also.   

And the best part about solarizing is that it is entirely natural.  Only
the heat of the sun and water are used.  Ok, you use clear plastic
too...don't nitpick.

It's too late to try it for this year, but check the threads in the iris
archive for detailed information on how to do this next summer.


Rick Tasco
Superstition Iris Gardens
Central California...in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada foothills
where we are having a late heat wave.  And my plastic is still on and
Zone 8

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