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Cook (Solarize) Away Weeds and Soil Pests and Diseases

Manage weeds, insects and diseases that have taken over your garden with the help of plastic, sunlight and summer’s heat.

Start by removing any healthy plants you want to keep. Pot them up, monitor and control any weeds, insects and diseases that have gone along for the ride.

Dig a trench around the garden. Then cultivate the soil at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Rake smooth and level removing any weeds, rocks and debris.

Moisten the soil to help transfer the solar heat deeper into the soil.

Cover the garden with a 1 to 4 mil thick clear plastic sheet. The clear plastic intensifies the sunlight raising the soil temperature and killing many soilbourne pests.

Tuck the edges of the plastic into the surrounding trench and anchor with stones or soil.  Leave in place for at least 6 to 8 weeks.

A bit more information:  You will be sacrificing much of this year’s growing season, but you will be rewarded with fewer pest problems in the future. Once the garden is replanted monitor and manage weeds and pest problems as soon as they appear.

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February 22 , 2020
Michiana Master Gardeners'
Garden Expo

Elkhart, Indiana


Feb. 25, 2020
SC Johnson's Golden Rondelle Theater
Racine, WI


Feb. 27-March 1, 2020
Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show
Fort Wayne, IN

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