How to Use the Sun to Control Pests and Revive Your Soil

If you're constantly battling weeds, pests, and soilborne diseases, it may be time to try solarization. 

Soil solarization is an easy, inexpensive, and non-chemical method that controls pests and pathogens in the garden when all other remedies fail.

This step-by-step guide will show you how!

Prepare the soil.


For successful solarization, the soil should be smooth and flat to allow the plastic to lay snug against it. Till or turn over the soil and remove or break up any clods, rocks, sticks, and hard roots.


Surprisingly, clear plastic is actually more effective than black plastic at heating up soil. The sun’s rays easily pass through clear plastic, only to be trapped inside to heat the soil.

Choose the right kind of plastic.


Staple gunning the plastic is the way I did it, and I simply wrapped the corners around the bed as if I was wrapping a package.

Cover your raised bed tightly and completely.

Soil solarization is most effective when the top 6 inches of soil is maintained at or above a daily temperature of at least 110°F for four to six weeks, as most pathogens reside in this upper layer.

Maintaining the proper temperature

After removing the plastic, you can sow seeds or plant transplants like normal.

Planting your garden after solarization

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