Soil solarization is a method home gardeners and farmers can use to manage soilborne pests such as weeds, disease pathogens, nematodes and insects. Solarization can reduce help reduce pesticides used to control these pests.
Soil solarization is simple: prepare the site, water it a bit, then cover the soil with clear plastic for an extended period of time to allow the sun to heat the soil to temperatures lethal to a wide range of pests.
Learn more about this process in our recently updated Pest Notes: Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes, by authors Jim...
In the backyard or in the wild, roguing (selectively pulling or cutting weed plants) and herbicide spot treatments can help prevent small patches of invasive weeds from becoming large infestations. However, herbicide applications may be of little value where senescent plants have already set seeds, because the dead “skeleton” plants may bear dormant but living seeds, which can initiate new infestations.
In the past, such plants may have been removed by stacking and burning them. However, under present conditions, burn permits are hard to come by. Landfill disposal is another option, but transporting seed-bearing plants may spread the seeds, making the problem worse instead of better. Deep burial of plant material...