Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Not required.
Technical Abstract: Large scale field demonstration/validation of soil solarization was conducted in 1995 and 1996 on seven commercial tomato farms. Marketable yields with methyl bromide exceeded yields with solarization on three farms. Yield with solarization was greater on one farm and yield with 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) plus chloropicrin was greatest on one farm. Weed suppression in solarized plots was comparable to plots treated with methyl bromide in all locations except when purslane and Texas panicum were present. Where southern blight was present, soil solarization provided better control of root-knot nematodes. Combining solarization with reduced rates of 1,3-D or 1,3-D plus chloropicrin provided levels of nematode control similar to those achieved with methyl bromide. Technical problems evident during the large scale applications included melting of drip irrigation tubing due to direct contact with the clear solarization plastic and heat stress of tomato transplants due to incomplete paint coverage of the clear plastic at the termination of the solarization period. In a survey of participating growers, four of seven indicated the performance of soil solarization was a little below methyl bromide, one indicated it was equivalent, and two indicated it was superior. All participating growers indicated that soil solarization could be utilized in their production systems.