The Q&A Archives: Solarizing Soil to Control Pathogens

Question: Regarding the soil in my vegetable garden: Is it better to remove the soil from my raised vegetable bed (feasible, although it will be a pain) or try to kill the organisms (some kind of mildew or fungus) before next years season ?

Answer: I agree that removing all your soil from your raised bed will be quite a chore. Do you have any idea what the pathogens are? Are you having specific problems with certain plants? The more you know about the culprit, the more you can target your treatments. For example, some soil-borne diseases are spread when water drops hit the ground and splash up onto leaves, carrying spores with them; mulching plants with a thick layer of straw can help reduce the spread such diseases.<br><br>I have some suggestions for you:<br><br>First: Whenever possible, plant only resistant varieties of plants.<br><br>Second: Rotate your crops...never plant the same things in the same place in successive years if you are having problems.<br><br>Try to narrow down the possibilities of what pathogens you are dealing with. If you can describe the symptoms (and on what plants) you are experiencing, we may be able to identify the culprit. Submit another question via the web page if we can help.<br>

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