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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2004  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 731 - 735

Efficacy and Profitability of Solarization for Weed Control in Strawberry

Ozhan Boz    

Abstract: The efficacy and profitability of solarization for weed control in strawberry (Cv. Chandler and Camarosa) in Turkey was investigated. Two trial sites were selected and a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates was used. Prior to planting, fields were cultivated and irrigated and raised beds were prepared. Both the raised beds and the soil between them were covered with clear plastic sheets in order to increase soil temperature due to exposure to the sun. Mean soil temperature of solarized areas at 5 cm soil depth was 47.5°C, which was about 10°C higher than non-solarized areas. This increased temperature was maintained for 45-50 days before transplanting After transplanting, the beds were mulched with black polythene sheets. Weeds were counted before and after mulching (at 3-4 dates), both on the bed around the strawberry transplants and between the raised beds. Data were analyzed using the student t-test within each field. Results showed that solarization reduced the population of common weeds including common purslane, annual bluegrass, redroot pigweed, wild radish and wild chamomile more than 99% compared to untreated controls. Horseweed was not controlled by solarization. The costs of buying and laying clear plastic sheeting for solarization were significantly lower than the costs of labor for hand-weeding and for herbicides, which are normally used. Calculations indicated that profitability increased by $470/ha using solarization only for weed control in strawberry rather than other methods.

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