The Western IPM Center reported on research into soil solarization at Oregon State University. Anti-condensation horticultural films have made effective soil solarization possible in the Pacific Northwest. At 42 different nursery sites from Southern California to Northern Washington, the non-condensing film heated the ground about 10 degrees Celsius higher than non-solarized plots. The solarization was effective at killing the pathogen that causes sudden oak death, as well as controlling soilborne diseases and weeds in field nurseries. The research team is now exploring how soil solarization could help organic growers with weed control. They are developing recommendations for how long to solarize soil to control specific problem weeds and pathogens.
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