Chapter 12

Greenhouse Soil Pasteurization, Fumigation and Solarization

(book excerpts)

Soil pastreurization, fumigation, and solarization can be used to control soil-borne diseases, insects, nematodes, and weeds. It is important to take steps to prevent pests from being re-introduced to treated soil. Steam is the most common form of heat used for soil pasteurization. Soil fumigation involves the use of volatile chemicals that produce a toxic gas when incorporated into the soil. Fumigants are general biocides; they are effective against fungi, bacteria, nematodes, soil insects, and weed seeds. Soil solarization is an environmentally friendly method of using the sun’s power to control pests such as bacteria, insects, and weeds in the soil. By placing transparent plastic sheets over moist soil during periods of high ambient temperature, the sun's radiant energy can be absorbed and trapped by the soil, thereby heating the topsoil layer. The sun heats the soil to temperatures that kill bacteria, fungi, insects, nematodes, mites, and weeds. Control of soil-borne pests will improve plant appearance, quality and vigor, crop yields, and ultimately profitability.

Click on the following topics for more information on greenhouse soil pasteurization and fumigation.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Soil Pasteurization
  • Freeflow versus Aerated Steam Treatment
  • Soil Preparation
  • Ammonium Toxicity
  • Types of Steam Application
  • Surface Steaming
  • Buried Pipe Steaming
  • Chamber (Vault) Steaming
  • Soil Fumigation
  • Types of Soil Fumigants
  • Methyl Bromide
  • Methyl Bromide and Chloropicrin Mixtures
  • Metam Sodium
  • Chloropicrin
  • Methyl Iodide
  • Dimethyl Disulfide
  • 1,3-Dichloropropene
  • Factors Influencing Soil Fumigation
  • Soil Texture
  • Soil Tilth
  • Soil Moisture
  • Soil Temperature
  • Application Rates
  • Application Methods and Soil Sealing
  • Shank or Spray Blade Application
  • Chemigation Application
  • Hot Gas Application
  • Soil Solarization