ELMORE, C.L.; STAPLETON, J.J.; BELL, C.E.; DEVAY, J.E. (1997): Soil Solarization: A Nonpesticidal Method for Controlling Diseases, Nematodes, and Weeds. Oakland: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. URL [Accessed: 23.02.2012]. PDF
Soil borne pests can be controlled in vegetable and fruit crops by preplant application of pesticides, including the fumigants methyl bromide, chloropicrin, and metam sodium. The use of these materials, however, is often undesirable due to their toxicity to animals and people, their residual toxicity in plants and soils, the complexity of soil treatment, and their high cost. Furthermore, restrictions on the use of soil-applied pesticides seem imminent as existing environmental legislation is implemented. As a result, there has been an increased emphasis on reduced-pesticide or non-pesticidal control methods. Soil solarisation is a non-pesticidal method of controlling soil borne pests by placing plastic sheets on moist soil during periods of high ambient temperature. The plastic sheets allow the sun's radiant energy to be trapped in the soil, heating the upper levels. Solarisation during the hot summer months can increase soil temperature to levels that kill many disease-causing organisms (pathogens), nematodes, and weed seed and seedlings. It leaves no toxic residues and can be easily used on a small or large scale. Soil solarisation also improves soil structure and increases the availability of nitrogen (N) and other essential plant nutrients.