Is Solarization Good and/or Worth the Effort

Asked January 27, 2015, 12:40 PM EST

I am skeptical about the benefits of what is being popularly called solarization. People seem to be claiming that "the good insects" and organic matter, etc, regenerate in the soil sooner than the "bad" ones. I don't see how they can claim this. I found one university extension webpage http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00505.html that made similar claims without any evidence that I could see. Also, the idea that I then need to only dig 2-3 inches into my soil seems ludicrous, especially as the season progresses. Weed seeds will still blow in or come with birds. Some things are harvested from deeper than that. Not only that, but it supposedly has to be timed with when the weeds would germinate. They germinate in my garden all season long. Maybe I am being too picky and skeptical. Maybe I also just have too large of a garden (I live on an acre, vegetable garden is roughly equivalent to eighteen 16 by 4 foot raised beds) to make it practical, but I would be interested in an article about this!

Canyon County Idaho horticulture soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Thank you for your question for eXtension. The topic area in which you've made a request is not yet fully staffed by eXtension experts and therefore we cannot provide you with a timely answer. Instead, if you live in the United States, please consider contacting the Cooperative Extension office closest to you. Simply go to http://www.extension.org, drop in your zip code and choose the office that is most convenient for you. We apologize that we can't help you right now, but please come back to eXtension to check in as we grow and add experts.