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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old June 6, 2015   #16
Fiishergurl
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Barb, I read somewhere that the soil should be damp.... helps the temps rise higher.

Ginny
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Old June 6, 2015   #17
ginger2778
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Ginny-great info on the dampness, that's how mine usually are anyway.
They always get condensation, I just ignore it because the condensation is also solarizing.
Peebee- in answer to what to do after solarization, solarization is to basically sterilize the soil, it kills pretty much everything. After it is done, I totally replenish. New dolomite, old fertilizer strip dug out. And then topped off with some brand new PromixBX. That has mycorrhizae in it, which I really like because they help the roots to absorb nitrogen.

This is really maybe the best thread on here for us Floridians, I really enjoy all your posts and pictures, and I am learning so much!
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Old June 6, 2015   #18
Fiishergurl
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Marsha - I am excited about this thread too.... especially after seeing the results in Peebee's "I'm A Believer Post". Peebee so glad you shared those pictures... :-)

Ginny
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Old June 6, 2015   #19
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No problem with the SWC mix being damp; if anything I will need to dry it out before using it.

I took some temps at 4PM - and under the clear plastic, it was 125.

In the black bag next to it, it was <110.

That difference is huge.

----
I ordered the 42 gallon clear bags - I went with Husky because I think I have a better chance that they will be clear; from what I've read on other reviews, a common complaint is that they aren't clear.

Should have them delivered on Monday.
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Old June 6, 2015   #20
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I am up north and am finding this discussion very interesting too! I will now be using clear and not black!
I wonder if I need to dump everything out of my containers and into clear bags in order for it to be effective. I had hoped I could just pull the clear bag over the container...
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Old June 6, 2015   #21
Fiishergurl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
No problem with the SWC mix being damp; if anything I will need to dry it out before using it.

I took some temps at 4PM - and under the clear plastic, it was 125.

In the black bag next to it, it was <110.

That difference is huge.

----
I ordered the 42 gallon clear bags - I went with Husky because I think I have a better chance that they will be clear; from what I've read on other reviews, a common complaint is that they aren't clear.

Should have them delivered on Monday.
Barb, how hot was the black bag?

Ginny
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Old June 6, 2015   #22
Fiishergurl
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Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
I am up north and am finding this discussion very interesting too! I will now be using clear and not black!
I wonder if I need to dump everything out of my containers and into clear bags in order for it to be effective. I had hoped I could just pull the clear bag over the container...
Hi Luigi.... I was wondering that too. Kurt do you know?

Ginny
Quote:
Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
I am up north and am finding this discussion very interesting too! I will now be using clear and not black!
I wonder if I need to dump everything out of my containers and into clear bags in order for it to be effective. I had hoped I could just pull the clear bag over the container...

Last edited by Fiishergurl; June 6, 2015 at 05:49 PM.
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Old June 6, 2015   #23
Barb_FL
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I have been doing the black bags for months - just dumping the mix in it;

The black bag I tested that was <110 is on a wooden pallet and is sprawled out - so the mix is not deep in any area. This will be a good test when I transfer one to the clear bags.

The double black bag on the EB was 105.

Marsha solarizes right in the EB so that is what I am doing for my EBs. Mine is a 2 step process; using 2 EB - I fill one and adding dolomite b/c I had pot worms. (in worm bins you get them from it being too acidic so I think the same for potting mix - I don't have them in my worm bin probably b/c I pulverize egg shells to powder when I feed them).

Solarizing right in the container is way better than having bags on pallets all over the place.
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Old June 6, 2015   #24
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
No problem with the SWC mix being damp; if anything I will need to dry it out before using it.

I took some temps at 4PM - and under the clear plastic, it was 125.

In the black bag next to it, it was <110.

That difference is huge.

----
I ordered the 42 gallon clear bags - I went with Husky because I think I have a better chance that they will be clear; from what I've read on other reviews, a common complaint is that they aren't clear.

Should have them delivered on Monday.
Oh my! Barb, that's fantastic research. You are so awesome, as is Kurt for telling us about it. Thank you, thank you,thank you.

Luigiwu, you most definitely can and indeed should pull the bag op right over the container. Simplifies your life.

Also, from another thread, the rootball atrophies in my EBs after I cut the main tomato base down at the soil line. You can leave it like that until the solarization is completed, then just reach in and pull the stump out using a clockwise twist and rocking motion. At least 2 weeks of solarization to accomplish that. You will see most of the fine roots are gone and mostly all that is left is the stem stump, which comes right out.
Okra is a different story, because it makes a strong taproot, but the pulling and twisting gets them out too.
Brassicas and lettuces are not even an issue.
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Old June 6, 2015   #25
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Default Temps at different depths.

"I was wondering that too. Kurt do you know"

Since I do not solarize myself and do not use the SWC/EBs the only way would be to take sample readings at the depths with on of those instant read Thermos,which I have seen to have at least a 6 inch stem.A raised container off the surface should yield desired temps.But putting the soils in bags at two -three(maybe more) soil thickness in this heat will do the trick if the desired temps are not reached.Again monitoring the temps at first would be the caliber of determination.PS Ginger 2778 It is nice to see the FLA TAG resurrect itself somewhat in these communications,maybe combine some posts/threads in the future and show the FLA TAG flag to let everyone know we are still alive and kickin!
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Old June 20, 2016   #26
Barb_FL
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Thought I would bump this thread. I started my solarizing process on Sunday.
I remember last summer posting temps much higher than those listed in this thread. They must be listed in the 2015 FL thread. Thinking they reached > 140 in the clear bags. Will update if I find the exact #s.


This year I am only solarizing in the EBs. No more solarizing in the bags only.

I first remove the top several inches and fertilizer strip so the only mix that I will use next season is getting solarized. I did this last summer as well.

My process: I start with an empty EB (dump all the contents in a 15 gallon Rootpouch). I inspect the roots when pulling out. I clean the EB with a hose.

So then I take EB #2 and ditch the top layer, and dump the contents into the empty EB#1. EB#1 is not full yet. Then I take EB#3 (or a root pouch), ditch what I don't want solarizied, and still add to EB#1 until full. This year I am pressing the mix down hard so I can fit more in.

Then I clean EB#2, EB#3, etc and repeat. I was able to fill EB#1 with contents of EB#2, EB#3.
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File Type: jpg Solarize.jpg (71.3 KB, 29 views)
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Old June 20, 2016   #27
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Thats a great job, but lots of work! Mine are solarizing, in their same box, fert strip and all. There are some on the EB forum who say that if you use an organic fertilizer you dont even need to remove it at all. I still will.
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Old June 20, 2016   #28
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It looks really good.

I'm going to put down plastic sheeting tomorrow morning on an in-ground garden - oh my back - lol.
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Old June 20, 2016   #29
Fiishergurl
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Mine are still producing tomatoes for my neighbors. They sent me pictures today and the plants are wild and wooly looking but still green and I can see tomatoes on them in the pics... :-) But I'm planning a trip back in july sometime to clean mine up and solarize and just in general check on the homestead... :-)

Ginny

Last edited by Fiishergurl; June 20, 2016 at 07:13 PM.
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Old June 20, 2016   #30
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It looks really good.
I'm going to put down plastic sheeting tomorrow morning on an in-ground garden - oh my back - lol.
AlittleSalt,
I see you are growing in Zone 8a. I'm guessing you have a fair amount of nematode issues growing in the ground. I'm curious if that is a big issue for you or not and if so how you contend with it? Is solorization adequate or do you take other steps such as selecting nematode resistant varieties?
I would be very interested in hearing how you garden successfully in your environment.
Thanks,
Larry
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