We solarized our garden this year in May and have left it on all summer. Should we take up the plastic before the winter or leave it on until spring? We live in. Gering, Ne so very similar climate to Ft. Collins. once we take up the plastic is there anything else to be done. I can't find any information about soil once you pull up the plastic. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Jan
Scotts Bluff County Nebraska
Other than continuing good soil management practices (tillage without over-tilling, incorporating organic matter, proper fertilization and watering, etc.) I am not aware that you need to do anything specific following solarization. You did leave the plastic on longer than is typically recommended and solarization can also have a negative effect on beneficial soil organisms and microorganisms. With fall being an ideal time to incorporate organic matter into soil, you might consider doing this this fall to increase beneficial population.
You did not say what your specific goals were for solarization. If it was for disease purposes, be sure to select disease resistant plants and practice crop rotation and good fall sanitation in future years to reduce disease build-up again. I am assuming this is a vegetable garden.
Information on solarization from Colorado State: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00505.html
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