Use of solar energy (solarization) for weed control in greenhouse soil for ornamental crops

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Solarization using 50 μm thick transparent polyethylene sheets for 3, 10, 22, 32 and 42 days was carried out in the greenhouse of a company which produces ornamental crops, in Jose C. Paz, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Populations of the annual summer weeds Amaranthus hybridus and galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora), and of the annual winter weeds spotted bur medick (Medicago arabica), chickweed (Stellaria media), sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) and twincress (Coronopus didymus) growing in soil that had been solarised for 42 days were significantly (P<0.05) less than in soil from control plots. Carnations growing in soil that had been solarised for 22 days had significantly (P<0.05) greater root weights, flower dry weights and numbers of flowers than carnations growing in unsolarised soil. High temperatures in the soil controlled annual weeds without hazards for workers or contamination of the environment.

M. Moya
G. Furukawa
New Zealand Plant Protection