Adaptation of soil solarization to the integrated management of soilborne pests of tomato under humid conditions

Phytopathology. 1997 Mar;87(3):250-8. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.1997.87.3.250.


ABSTRACT Soil solarization was shown to be cost effective, compatible with other pest management tactics, readily integrated into standard production systems, and a valid alternative to preplant fumigation with methyl bromide under the tested conditions. Solarization using clear, photoselective, or gas-impermeable plastic was evaluated in combination with metham sodium, 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin, methyl bromide + chloropicrin, pebulate, or cabbage residue. Strip solarization, applied to 20-cm-high, 0.9-m-wide beds, was conducted to achieve compatibility with standard production practices and resulted in soil temperatures 2 to 4 degrees C above those temperatures resulting when using conventional flatbed solarization. Soil temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees C higher at the edges of the raised beds, eliminating any border effects associated with solarization. Following a 40- to 55-day solarization period, the plastic was painted white and used as a production mulch for a subsequent tomato crop. The incidence of Southern blight and the density of Paratrichodorus minor and Criconemella spp. were lower (P < 0.05) in solarized plots. No differences (P < 0.05) in the incidence of Fusarium wilt and the density of nutsedge and Helicotylenchus spp. were observed between plots receiving solarization and plots fumigated with a mixture of methyl bromide + chloropicrin. The severity of root galling was lower (P < 0.05) when soil solarization was combined with 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin (16.2 + 3.4 g/m(2)) and a gas-impermeable film. The incidence of bacterial wilt was not affected by soil treatments. Marketable yields in plots using various combinations of soil solarization and other tactics were similar (P < 0.05) to yields obtained in plots fumigated with methyl bromide + chloropicrin. The results were validated in several large scale field experiments conducted by commercial growers.