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Solarization In Your Garden Uses The Power Of The Sun

Columbine "Swan Blue white" ...bicolored columbines grace landscapes in April with their stately flower stalks arising above the plant foliage.
LSU AgCenter

Gardeners can utilize the intense heat of the summer sun to control soil-born pests in vegetable gardens. Through solarization, you can use heat from the sunlight to control pathogenic fungi, nematodes, and weed seeds in the soil.

Solarization is the process of heating the soil in our beds under a covering of clear plastic using the energy of the sunlight, similar to the way a greenhouse might work. It can only be used on an empty bed, so as you remove vegetable crops you might have a perfect opportunity to use solarization.

After solarizing a vegetable bed, you often will find that vegetable plantings grow faster and produce higher quality yields. This is thanks to improved disease and weed control, in addition to an increase in soluble nutrients and greater proportions of helpful soil microorganisms.