We have a large family garden area that we are considering soil solarization - what is the best way to do this in Michigan? Will 8 weeks be enough? do we need to monitor temperature? will it kill the worms and beneficial bacteria too?
Soil solarization is a good way to eliminate many weeds and pathogens in the soil, but not all. It will also get some of the beneficial organisms. The beneficial organism should repopulate rather quickly after removing the covering. Earth worms will most likely go lower or move out. Eight weeks is probably sufficient as long as there is significant sun and warm temperatures. Double clear plastic is probably best. Check out the following links:
I hope this helps,