Are weeds, soil-borne diseases and pests keeping you from having the garden of your dreams?
Try soil solarization.
This all-natural technique utilizes the sun to heat the soil and fight off issues in your garden. It works in all types of gardens, but especially in raised beds.
You will need at least 6-8 weeks during the hottest temperatures of the year for it to work properly. With a little bit of patience, this process will help give you a bountiful harvest next year.
- Level your garden and clear it of all rocks, debris or old plant material. Solarization works best when all of the soil is an equal distance from the plastic. This will provide proper heating to the entire area.
- Soak the garden bed to at least a depth of 1 foot.
- Lay plastic. Pull the plastic as tightly as possible across the surface of the raised bed. Use staples or other fasteners to secure the plastic in place. This will keep wind, rain and weed seeds out while keeping the heat in.
- After 6-8 weeks, remove the plastic. Your bed will have regularly heated to up to 120°F during the summer, killing off any weeds, soil borne diseases and pests that remained. The bed is ready to plant again for cool-season crops or next spring.