Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Solar Power

Nematodes have plagued the raised beds in the garden for some time now. So, two beds remain fallow this summer.  I'm following the directions from UC Davis for solarization one bed at a time. The soil must be turned, smoothed, and irrigated deeply.  An application of chicken manure is suggested to be successful.  While the bed is still moist, clear plastic is applied on top of the soil.  Thinner is better; but very thin may tear.  4 ml is being used. The plastic sheeting needs to be anchored down then left for 4 - 8 weeks.  The plastic builds up the soil temperature to kill pests and seeds.  

On about August 13 (8 weeks), the plastic can be removed from this bed and discarded.  It will be ready for planting a fall salad garden.

Fingers crossed.


dorothy said...

Those nematodes have been yourn nemesis, haven't they? What a lot of work to kill those little critters. You are a good gardener, and I hope this does the trick! Our valley heat should be enough to do them in!
It sounds like you are doing everything right. It will be worth all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maybelline,
I don't know if you've heard of Pat Welsh, a very well known gardener from San Diego but she helped me with a terrible case of root knot nematodes rampant in the soil in my garden...I'm in a community garden in Santa Monica.
She suggested I order Golden Guardian Marigolds from Park Seed to get rid of them. They helped a great deal within one year. Before that, I could hardly grow a tomato plant to maturity...all those horrible gnarly roots...but this year they're doing great.
Just sow them generously after you solarize your beds and I think they will help keep the Nems from returning. I believe it's something in those particular Marigold roots that repels them.
Good luck!


* Dorothy, thanks for the encouragement. I know the Central Valley sun should blast thos boogers.

* Anonymous, yup. I've tried the French marigold technique. From what I understand, the trick is cutting the plants down before they bloom and turning them under while they're green. The marigold variety must be French. Guess nematodes are repulsed by the French. Personally, I like their fries and toast!

David said...

Maybelline, I've heard of this method to kill unwanted diseases and bugs in garden areas. It takes some work and leaving part of the garden fallow for a season but I think it's way better than chemically sterilizing the soil. I haven't had the need to use it but it would be my choice as well.

I got to witness the great southwest heat while I was in Las Vegas this last week. It was a dry heat though. Right. My second oldest grand daughter graduated high school so my daughter, grandson, and I traveled there for the ceremony. Because of the extreme cost of flying we chose to rent a car and drive there. We didn't get to stay long but it was packed with special activities. On the way home bad weather followed us across Nebraska but really didn't affect our driving other than struggling with windy conditions. The next day we heard that the town of Pilger was almost totally destroyed with two EF4 tornadoes. The weather this year has been extreme every where.

Be sure to give us an update on the solar power sterilizing. Have a great day in the southwest summer heat. :)


Dave, what you experienced is nothing. Come on back out this way in July. We'll see what you're made of. I saw reports of that double tornado. You can keep them. I'll stay here with the earthquakes.