The Q&A Archives: Elimating virus or bacteria in your soil.

Question: Your research library contains many questions about tomato leave wilting, with causes of nematodes, and usually virus or bacterial blighting. The answers say use good sanitation or grow this variety available at. . . . But how do I kill this bacteria or virus? I dont want to move or dig out my whole garden, yet I want to grow some good tomatoes for a change without them curling... Bob Z Marysville, CA

Answer: Short of fumigating the soil, you can't completely elimate virus or bacteria in your soil. You can try a technique called soil solraization which has worked well in California. You'll have to sacrifice some of your garden for the growing season, but if you're willing here's how to do it. Till, Rake, moisten and smooth the area to be solarized. Buy 4 mil thick clear plastic shetting and lay it over the area in June, sealing the edges with soil. Leave the plastic on the beds all summer and the heat generated should cook the disease causing bacteria out of the soil. Remove in fall and plant the next season.

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