Sometimes we want to hide from it and we curse its scorch but we have to be grateful for the help the Sun lends when we’re trying to save ourselves the trouble of chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. Soil Solarization uses the power of the July and August sun to heat your garden and manage pests and weeds. It can work really well if you prepare the space properly and give the Sun enough time to do its work.
You need a sunny spot, some clear plastic sheets or strips, and water. First, clean up the area you’ll solarize by removing all weeds, sticks, and other debris. The solarization will be most effective if your soil is moist at the time you put plastic on, so irrigate the soil the evening before or watch the forecast and plan to cover after a day of rain. Don’t cover very dry soil or very wet soil. Cover the area to be treated completely with the plastic sheets leaving some spare plastic to tuck in and bury in the soil. You want to prevent any heat from escaping so be sure the edges are sealed. Leave the plastic in place for at least six weeks and let it bake. When you remove the plastic, you can start planting (perfect timing, Fall favorites will be starting to arrive then) and you should have a pest and weed free area for up to 4 months! This works when preparing a site for vegetable gardening or flower gardening. Gotta love the Sun!