The Soil Solarization Home

The Soil Solarization Home site is

dedicated to the memory of


Dr. Avi Grinstein

Dear friends

It is with great sorrow and regret that we must inform you of bad news about our friend Avi Grinstein.

Avi collapsed suddenly on October 18th, and one day later, he passsed away in the hospital intnesive care unit. We are all terribly shocked. It is a great loss to all of us: to his family, to his many friends who loved him (who does not love Avi?) and to the scientific community to which Avi contributed so much.

The memory of Avi will last forever in out hearts


Yaacov Katan


Abraham Gamliel

Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Lab for Pest Management Research

Faculty of Agriculture Rehovot


Inst. Agric. Engineering



ARO Volcani Center



The Soil Solarization (Solar heating)

(Updated April 2013)

Soil solarization (also referred to as solar heating of the soil in early publications) is a new soil disinfestation method, first described in 1976 by Katan et al., for controlling soilborne pathogens and weeds, mostly as a pre-planting soil treatment. It was opened to scientific examination and criticism via a publication in Phytopathology in 1976. Soil solarization is achieved by covering (mulching, tarping) the soil with transparent polyethylene during the hot season, thereby heating it and killing the pests. The 1976 publication described in detail the method, its principles and potential in disease and weed control under field conditions. The concept of soil solarization could only have evolved following the advances in plasticulture development, especially in plastic mulch technology, which had begun two decades earlier. The basic approach of using the sun to heat mulched soil for pest control has taken off since then and has been adopted based on fundamental research, accompanied by extensive implementation under various cropping systems and in different regions. Over the years, solarization has been assessed as a control method against a wide range of soilborne pests, including phytopathogenic fungi, such as Verticillium, Fusarium, Pythium, pathogenic bacteria, nematodes, weeds and others. Although, soil solarization is effective in controlling a variety of pests, there are cases in which effective control has not been achieved. Adoption of solarization has increased significantly since 1976, despite the fact that this technology does not enjoy industry support. On the other hand, the methyl bromide crisis and its phase-out have raised challenges and initiated new opportunities, especially with intensive cropping practices. One outcome is that soil solarization (alone and especially when combined) has become an important player in the soil disinfestation arena.

Soil solarization is the third approach for soil disinfestation; the two other main approaches, soil steaming and fumigation, physical and chemical approaches, respectively, were developed at the end of the 19th Century. Soil fumigation was identified for many years with the fumigant methyl bromide. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the phase-out of methyl bromide, along with extensive efforts to find effective chemical and nonchemical alternatives for pest control, has further emphasized the limitations of using available fumigants and other disinfestation methods as stand-alone approaches. The last decades have seen adoption of the integrated pest management (IPM) philosophy for soil disinfestation as the outcome of the realization that, beyond killing the pathogen, soil disinfestation should encompass economic, social, legislative, and environmental aspects. IPM in soil disinfestation represents a continuous process rather than a single action, and brings together the application of various control measures and concepts. Combining solarization with other pest-control measures is one of the important tools for IPM implementation and improvement in soil disinfestation. The various strategies of combining soil solarization with pesticides, organic amendments or beneficial microorganisms, including the integration of soil solarization into cropping systems under real farming conditions, has been extensively reported.

Today, solarization is explored or implemented in more than 70 countries and studies have been documented in over 1400 research papers, mostly in the hot regions, although there were some important exceptions. The studies demonstrated the effectiveness of solarization with various crops (vegetables, field crops, ornamentals, nurseries and fruit trees) against many pathogens, weeds and soil arthropods, in various cropping systems including organic farming. Pathogens and weeds which are not controlled by solarization were also detected. In parallel, the biological, chemical and physical changes taking place in the solarized soil during and after the solarization process, interactions with other methods of control and many other topics, were investigated. Some findings, e.g. long-term effects, biological control and increased growth response were verified in various climatic regions and soils. This demonstrates involvement of general mechanisms in solarization, and the wide applicability of this approach.

Both physical and biological mechanisms, mainly microbial, are involved in pathogen control by solarization. Frequently, populations of fluorescent pseudomonad bacteria, Bacillus sp. and the antagonistic fungus Talaromyces and other antagonists were increased by solarization, either in the soil or in the rhizosphere of the plants. Frequently, the solarized soil becomes more suppressive. Phenomena of increased mineral nutrients, e.g. N, K and Ca, as well as improved growth of the plant in the solarized soil, even in the absence of known pathogens, were also reported. Induced resistance in plants growing in solarized soils is also reported.

Computerized simulation models for predicting temperatures of solarized soils were developed, and can be used as guidelines by researchers and growers which are interested to employ solarization, and are not sure whether the ambient conditions in their place are suitable for solarization. In addition, simulation models and approaches for predicting rate of thermal killing of pathogens and rate of pathogen control by solarization were developed.

Studies of the improvement of solarization by integrating it with other methods or by its application in closed glasshouses, or studies concerning commercial application by developing mulching machines were also carried out. The use of solarization in existing orchards (e.g. controlling Verticillium in pistachio, olive or avocado plantations) which was reported as early as 1979, is an important improvement and deviation from the standard preplant method. Soil solarization can be improved by a variety of means: solarizing the soil in a closed greenhouse, using a double layers mulching, using special types of improved plastic films, etc. Sprayable plastic material was also developed. In addition to soil disinfestation, solarization is being developed for additional purposes. These include solar sanitation of the greenhouse structure, sanitation of agricultural tools, disinfesting water, controlling animal and human pathogens, solarizing piles of growth substrate material, nurseries etc.

Soil solarization, as a control method, has advantages and impediments. It is a nonchemical method without endangering the user or the environment, simple for application and less expensive than many fumigation methods. Its major limitation is its climate dependency and that the soil cannot be occupied with crops for several weeks. Although no major negative side effects by this method were reported, such a possibility should not be excluded. Therefore, solarized fields should be continuously monitored, as it should with all the disinfested fields.

It should be emphasized that soil solarization is not a magic tool which cures every illness but rather one more tool for pest management which under the appropriate conditions and application can become an important additional tool to our rather limited arsenal of management tools for soil-borne pests.

For further information please see the following websites:

Jaacov Katan, Ph.D.
Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
The Buck Family Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology
The Hebrew University
Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Rehovot 76100, Israel

Abraham Gamliel, Ph. D. 
Head, Lab. for Pest Management Research
Inst. Agricultural Engineering
ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, 50250 Israel

Selected references.

Chen Y., Gamliel, A., Stapleton, J. J. & Aviad T. 1991. Chemical, physical and microbial changes realted to plant growth in disinfested soils. Pages103-129 in: Soil Solarization. J. Katan & J. E. DeVay,Eds. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

DeVay, J. E., Stapleton, J.J. & & Elmore, C. L. 1991. Soil Solarizaiton, Proceeding, First International Conference on Soil Solarizaton, Amman, Jordan. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 109. FAO Rome.

Elmore, C. L., Stapleton, J.J., Bell, C. E., DeVay, J. E., and Hart, W. H. 1984. Soil solarization: A non chemical method for controlling disease and pests. Cooperative Extension, Division of Agriclture and Natural Resources: Leaflet 21377, University of California, Oakland, 14 pages.

Eshel D., Gamliel, A., Grinstein, A., Di Primo, P., and Katan, J. 2000. Combineed soil treatments and sequence of application in improving the control of soilborne pathogens. Phytopathology 90:751:757

Gamliel, A., and Katan. 1991. Involvement of fluorescent pesudomonads and other microorganisms in increased growth response of plants in solarized soils. Phytopathology 81:494-502.

Gamliel, A., and Katan. 2009. Control of plant disease through soil solarization. Pages 196-220 in Disease control in Plants: Biologically and Environmetally friendly approaches. D. Walter, Ed. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Gamliel A., and Katan. J. 2012. Soil Solarization: Theory and Practice. APS Press St. Paul MN.

Gamliel, A., and Stapleton. J. J. 1993. Effect of chicken compost or ammonium phosphate and solarizalion on pathogen control, Rhizosphcrc microorganisms, and lettuce growth. Plant Dis. 77:886-891.

Gamliel, A., Vanachter, A., and Katan, J. 2010. (eds.) Chemical and Non-Chemical Soil and Substrate Disinfestation Acta Hort 883. ISHS, Leuven Belgium (429 pages).

Grinstein, A. 1992. Introduction of a new agricultural technology - soil solarization - in Israel. Phytoparasitica 20.Suppl.:127S-131S.

Grinstein, A. & A. Hetzroni. 1991. The technology of soil solarization. Pages 159-170 in J. Katan & J. E. DeVay (eds.) Soil Solarization. CRC Publications, Boca Raton.

Gullino, M.L., Katan, J., and Matta, A. 2000. (eds.) Chemical and Non-Chemical Soil and Substrate Disinfestation Acta Hort 532. ISHS, Leuven Belgium (256 pages).

Katan, J. 1981. Solar heating (solarization) of soil for control of soilborne pests. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 19:211-236

Katan, J & J. E. DeVay. 1991. (eds.) Soil Solarization. CRC Publications, Boca Raton: 159-170.

Katan, J., A. Greenberger, H. Alon & A. Grinstein. 1976. Solar heating by polyethylene mulching for the control of diseases caused by soil-born pathogens. Phytopathology 66:683-688.

Katan, J., A. Grinstein, A. Greenberger, O. Yarden & J. E. DeVay. 1987. First decade (1976-1986) of soil solarization (solar heating)-A chronological bibliography. Phytoparasitica 15:229-255.

Grunzweig, J. M. Rbinowitch, H. D., and Katan J. 1993. Physiological and developmental aspects of increased plant growth in solarized soils. Ann. Appl. Biol. 122:579-591

Stapleton, J.J. and DeVay, J.E. 1986. Soil solarization: a nonchemical approach for the management of plant pathogens. Crop Prot. 5:190-198.

Stapleton, J.J., DeVay, J.E., and Elmore, C.L. 1998. (eds.) Soil Solarization and Integrated Management of Soilborne Pests. Plant Production and Protection Paper 147, FAO, Rome. 656 pp.

Tjamos, E. C. Grinstein, A., and Gamliel A. 1999. Disinfestation of soil and growth media. Pages 130-149 in: Integrated pest management in Greenhouse Crops. R. Albajes, M L. Gullino, J. C. Van Lantern and Y. Elad. Eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands

Tjamos, E. C., and Paplomatas, E. J. 1988. Long-term effect of soil solarization in controlling Verticillium wilt of globe artichokes in Greece. Plant Pathol. 37:507-515.


Highlights on Recent Studies and Progress in Soil Solarization

January 1998

Summarized by J. Katan, A. Grinstein and A. Gamliel

Soil solarization research has been carried out in more than 50 countries. The research and development in this field are expanding in many directions. We do not attempt to cover all of them, but rather to report briefly some examples from five areas. Additional reports will be given in the future. You are invited to send us information, comments and suggestions, and these will be referred to in future reports.

We would like to emphasize that the following is a very brief report (therefore, names of researchers have not been mentioned) describing some of the developments in solarization research. There are many other developments, not less important, which will be referred to in future reports, if we feel that there is an interest. Your help and suggestions in this regard will be much appreciated. We should be happy that solarization research has expanded so much that it is not possible to cover all of the recent developments in one report.

More information on soil solarization is given in the next pages.

1. Soil solarization worldwide

In addition to the regular studies on the effectiveness of soil solarization in controlling a variety of pests of major crops in regions which are especially suitable for solarization, this technique is being tested continuously in new regions and countries and with additional crops and pests. For example, there have been studies on the effectiveness of solarization in controlling phytopathogenic bacteria, Urocystis in onions, foliar diseases, soil arthropods and others. It has recently been found in India that the Karnal bunt pathogen of wheat (a threatening disease) is very sensitive to solarization. We do not expect solarization to become a regular tool for controlling this disease in wheat but it can be considered in emergency cases for eradicating the pathogen in a new region. Other innovative studies deal with disinfecting water by solar heating, which has a useful potential in remote areas, and the use of solar chambers for tree treatment. Success has also been reported in the control of soilborne pathogens in existing orchards, although the main efforts are concentrated on adopting solarization for the control of major soilborne pathogens and weeds in annual crops. A remarkable rapid development in solarization research and development has been observed in Latin America and India. In the latter, efforts have been made to introduce solarization to nurseries and to combine it with organic amendments (see below). There are additional reports on the use of solarization in nurseries. In Florida, where extensive studies on solarization are being conducted, the efforts have been successfully directed to adapting solarization to the local crop management system, especially with tomatoes. The use of solarization for controlling parasitic plants is an another topic of solarization research. A fundamental issue in solarization research in every region is the determination of the months which are optimal for solarization from the climatic point of view, without interfering with crop management. In order to address this issue, data on the climate and on thermal sensitivity of pathogens are required, as well as physical and biological simulation models related to heating of soil and pathogens.

With the upcoming reduction in the use of methyl bromide and its consequent phase out, soil solarization research is expected to further intensify and its use to be expanded. After all, at this stage, except for artificial soil heating, soil solarization (alone or combined with other means) is the only nonchemical soil disinfestation method which has been tested on a large scale under farming conditions. It can potentially to replace many (but not all) uses of methyl bromide. However, the full realization of its potential requires a systematic and intensive research.

2. Improving soil solarization

A major limitation of this method is its dependency on climate. A better reliability in its use and a higher effectiveness in pest control will possibly enable its usage for additional months during the year and in additional climatically marginal regions. For example, the use of solarization in a closed glasshouse (a well-known approach for improving solarization) resulted in a very effective control of Plasmodiophora even in a northern area, the Czech Republic, which is not a typical site for solarization. The main effort for improving solarization has focused in recent years on combining it with reduced dosage of pesticides and with biocontrol agents, but especially with organic amendments which produce volatiles accumulating under the plastic mulch. Crucifers are very effective, but other organic amendments can also be used. This approach, also referred to as "biofumiagation", is followed by many groups of researchers including groups in Europe and Canada. The mode of action, with emphasis on volatile production, is being studied. We believe that the efforts should focus on available and cheap organic materials, such as poultry manure and local residues, or on organic wastes which are an ecological burden, e.g. surplus from the food industry. Improving solarization technologies for better heating is an another field of research which can contribute to the improvement of solarization.

3. Mechanisms and mode of action

The biological processes involved in solarization continue to draw interest, especially among the younger generation of researchers and graduate students, who are fortunately much involved in solarzation research. These processes include the weakening effect on pathogen propagules induced by sublethal heating (which can lead to induced biological control and has many implications on combining solarization with other methods) and the shifts in populations of native biocontrol agents such as Talaromyces, Aspergillus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas in soil. Studies on effect of solarization on VAM have been conducted. A model describing solar heating in rainy areas has been developed for the first time has been and will hopefully contribute to a better use of solarization. Studies on chemical changes in the soil and on physiological (including hormonal) changes in plants growing in solarized soils, have been reported.

4. Implementation studies

These include mulching individual elevated beds (Florida), improved plastic films the use of sprayable mulches (California), Israel) and others. Economic analyses has been reported.

5. Education, Extension and International Meetings

Leaflets, brochures, bulletins and special publications in various languages, describing solarization and its use, being published continuously. Recently, a special bulletin on soil solarization with emphasis on implementation, by Elmore et al from the University of California, was published.

Our colleagues from various countries report on special farmers' days conducted to demonstrate solarization. Two video films on solarization (in one cassette) have been produced by the Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel. They are available in several languages (Hebrew, English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian).

Solarization studies are presented in many national and international meetings dealing with crop protection, horticulture and related subjects. Two recent conferences are the International Congress for Plastics in Agriculture which was held in Israel in 1997, and the conference on soil solarization and integrated management of soilborne pests that was held in Aleppo, Syria in 1997. Abstracts of the latter meeting are available on the Internet.



Modes of Application

Publication: Grinstein, A. & A. Hetzroni. 1991. The technology of soil solarization. in J. Katan & J. E. DeVay (eds.) Soil Solarization. CRC Publications, Boca Raton: 159-170.


Soil to be solarized must be well prepared by tilling and should be crumbled to a depth of at least 30 to 40 cm. This is achieved by deep cultivation followed by harrowing and light rolling.

Solarization is effective only if done in wet soil. The field must therefore be irrigated until a depth of 50 to 60 cm is at field capacity before mulching. An additional rolling prior to mulching is advisable.

The regular PE sheets used in agriculture are formulated according to various criteria, e.g., long lifetime, wind resistance, transparency within a given range of wavelengths and impermeability to others, heat resistance, and antifogging. All this is achieved by the addition of various additives to the PE and increases film cost. Soil solarization under optimal temperature conditions can be done with regular PE containing additives needed to ensure its persistence in the field for 2 months. The grower, having chosen to apply one of the methods (strip or continuous area cover), must now decide on a manual or mechanical application system. The decisive criteria are primarily economical. The investment in machinery is relatively small, as is that in the extra plastic film used in the continuous mulching procedure. In our experience, about 10 to20 man-days are required to cover manually 1 ha with a continuous sheet, with the assistance of a mechanical trencher. A mechanized application system (as is available today) will reduce the labor requirement to 3 man-days/ha. Manual strip mulching is not practical, as it is more labor consuming than the manual continuous cover. However, mechanized strip application reduces the labor requirement to 0.5 man-day/ha, thanks to the increased laying speed capabilities. It should be emphasized that all the factors which determine the covering film width (2.5-4m for a single film strip) are equally true for manual as for mechanical mulching.

It should be noted that manual mulching allows solarization with used plastic.

 Manual Mulching and Supporting Equipment

Relatively small plots can be covered manually. The edges of the sheet should be firmly embedded in the soil, preferably in shallow trenches, while ensuring film tautness. Care must be taken in stretching a thin film to prevent damage which can be caused by fingers. A continuous plastic covering for relatively small plots can be achieved manually by anchoring the edge of two adjacent sheets together in one furrow. A semi-mechanical system can also be applied. The plastic film unrolling and trench openings for anchoring are done in the first pass. Soil anchoring is done mechanically in the next pass, after manually placing the film in the furrow.

Another manual method was reported in California. The films are laid manually and anchored by narrow sand windrows; This method does not require the digging of trenches. It may, however, leave large quantities of unsolarized soil (which is needed to hold the sheet). The anchoring sand windrows must be sufficiently heavy to withstand the previously described lifting forces. Studies by Greenberger and Katan showed that the heat-sensitive organism Verticillium dahlia is controlled even in the heated soil windrows themselves, when the latter are not larger than 15 cm high and 20 cm wide. A machine designed for surface anchoring has been described by Ashworth et al. A screw-type conveyer lifts the soil from the front of the tractor and transfers it to the rear end, where it is discharged onto the film after laying it.

 Mechanical Mulching


Most machines used for strip mulching operate on similar principles. Two trenches, one at either side of the strip, are opened by two discs (or flippers). The plastic film is unrolled behind the machine, and its edges are deposited into the trenches by two guiding wheels, which are also used to stretch the film outward. Covering discs, or flippers, return the soil to the trench, anchoring the sheet in it.


A whole field mulching requires a continuous mulching machine which is designed to unroll narrow film strips, each of which is anchored to the soil at one side and the other side connected to another plastic sheet laid on the previous pass. While traveling, a new sheet is unrolled. One edge of the newly unrolled sheet is embedded in the soil, while its other edge is glued or fused to the previously laid one.

The formula of the PE-additives mixture was found to be of the utmost importance in determining the strength of the glued or fused seam. While pure PE is easily fused, it was found that some additives (e.g. some UV-absorbents) interfere with the fusing process. This holds true also for gluing, which is highly dependent on the surface-tension, as well as on the chemical properties of both the film and the glue. 

The fusing of plastic films is, basically, a destructive process. A hot air stream, if not adequately adjusted, can easily destroy the heat-sensitive film. This is the main reason for the many efforts made to find a suitable glue with the required sticking permanency for solarization. Such a glue, HC4510 T11-SJC, suitable for binding together most of the PE sheets, of different mixture formulas, was used in California and Israel. Some other were also tested and used in France. The glue has to be adjusted for the long exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. This is achieved by the addition of UV inhibitors to the glue formula by the manufacturer. 

The continuous mulch achieved by either the fusing or the gluing methods described above does not permit its further use for mulching the beds for the growing plants throughout the growing season. If the plastic, which is anchored to the ground along one edge only, is tom down along the growing bed (e.g., by the tractor wheel), the whole sheet is useless. A special model of the mulching system, which enables the use of the mulch for the growing season, was designed and tested. The continuous mulching is achieved in two steps: the first is by conventional strip mulching and the second is made with a modified fusing machine. A narrow PE film is unrolled to mulch the bare soil that was left between the covered beds. Both sides of this film are fused to the mulch of the adjacent bed.

With this system, the beds remain covered even if the film is tom by the tractor wheel during the growing season. The narrow PE strip can also be glued (rather than welded) if a suitable glue is available.

 Solarization in Orchards and Greenhouses 

Trees, as well as greenhouse supports, create discontinuities in the field so that application of continuous mulch can be done only manually. The procedure is to cut the sheet to surround the tree trunks or the poles. The film is held in place, where overlapped, with soil windrows that are applied manually. The semi-mechanical system previously described for manual mulching can also be applied. In this case, the unrolling of the plastic film between the tree rows (or supports) and the opening of the trench for anchoring is done in the first pass. The laid film is then pulled manually to the other side of the row while cutting the film for each tree (or support). The soil anchoring is done mechanically in the following pass.

An improved technique, without cutting the film, is also used. A trench is opened along the line of obstructions. One plastic sheet is unrolled to one side of the trees (or greenhouse supports) and a second sheet is placed from the opposite side, around the obstructions. One edge of each sheet is buried and the upper sheet is then opened.



    More data available on video films:

    Extension Video Films About Soil Solarization

    • Grinstein, A., J. Katan & C. Zabludovski. 1990. Application of Soil-Solarization. Extension Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Israel.
    • Katan, J., Grinstein, A., & C. Zabludovski. 1990. Principles of Soil-Solarization. Extension Service, Ministry of Agricuture, Israel.
      • continuous-mulching-done-manually-without-fusing-or-gluing.jpg
      • semimechanical-continuous-mulching.jpg
      • continuous-mulching-anchored-with-narrow-sand-windrows.jpg
      • strip-mulching.jpg
      • continuous-mulching-done-by-fusing-or-gluing.jpg
      • continuous-mulching-by-covering-the-wheel-path-between-covered-beds.jpg
      • continuous-mulching-between-trees-or-columns.jpg


      Utilization of Soil Solarization

      Publication: Grinstein, A. 1992. Introduction of a new agricultural technology - soil solarization - in Israel. Phytoparasitica 20.Suppl.:127S-131S.


      Soil solarization is a non-chemical method for soil disinfestation. Theoretically, Israel is one of the ideal sites for the use of this technology. It has been shown that the introduction of soil solarization is highly crop-dependent and is inversely correlated with the availability of alternative soil disinfestation methods. Solarization has been easily introduced for crops with no reliable and recommended soil disinfestation methods for conventional farming and in cases where this technique is inexpensive. Its introduction to crops for which other soil disinfestation techniques are established, or to less intensive crops, has been much slower.

      Apart from objective reasons for not using solarization, e.g. plots which are in use during the suitable season for solarization or low efficacy against specific soilborne pests, there are problems that need to be solved. These are related to technology and technology diffusion, to the price of the plastic sheeting and to the priority given by farmers to non-chemical methods.

      Being non-chemical by definition, solarization has a definite advantage in the framework of non-chemical cropping systems like organic and biological farming and as an actual and prospective alternative method to chemical soil fumigation. The currently licensed and recommended fumigants, especially those used on edible crops, may be limited in their scope or even banned, as occurred recently with a series of conventional nematicides. There is no doubt that crops and products from solarized land could have a net marketing advantage in the light of public preference for health products vis-a-vis chemically treated crops, even when the latter satisfy the internationally accepted tolerance levels for pesticide residues. Solarization is comparable to integrated pest management and biological control systems. These systems and techniques are complex, often more expensive than the equivalent chemical control methods, and are backed only by public R&D organizations. The next step in the promotion of solarization should involve both policy-makers as well as extension field staff and extension-associated tools and methods, mass media, publications, videotapes, and other training material for a massive flow of pertinent information to a large segment of the farming population. In such a way, both awareness of the method, as well as the required skills, equipment, cost information and other considerations would be made fully avail able to prospective users. These step will lead to a much larger use of soil solarization. This is especially needed in light of many old and new restrictions on pesticides.


      Integrated Control


      Combining organic amendments with soil solarization is a nonchemical approach to improvement of the control of soilborne plant diseases. Pathogen control in solarized- amended soil is attributed to a combination of thermal killing and enhanced generation of biotoxic volatile compounds.

      Apparently, pathogen sensitivity to biotoxic volatile compounds is enhanced with increase of soil temperature and acts in combination with antagonistic microbial activity. Enhanced biocontrol also may be involved with some amendments. Toxic volatile compounds including alcohols, aldehydes, sulfides, isothiocyanates, and others were detected in soil amended with cruciferous residues during heating.

      Field solarization of soil amended with composted chicken manure gave better control of pathogens and higher yield of lettuce and tomato than either treatment alone.

      Publication: Gamliel A. & J. J. Stapleton. 1997. Improvement Of Soil Solarization With Volatile Compounds Generated From Organic Amendments. Phytoparasitica 25.




      The information on these countries was obtained through scientific publications and or journal communication. We are in contact with investigators from many of these countries. If you know about additional countries in which solarization research is carried out, please inform us.




      Soil Solarization


      Solarization in an Olive Orchard


      Israel (Kibbutz Magen), 1988


      Egypt, 1980




      Gamliel A. & J. J. Stapleton. 1997. Improvement of Soil Solarization With Volatile Compounds Generated From Organic Amendments. Phytoparasitica 25. 

      Grinstein, A. 1992. Introduction of a new agricultural technology - soil solarization - in Israel. Phytoparasitica 20.Suppl.:127S-131S. 

      Grinstein, A. & A. Hetzroni. 1991. The technology of soil solarization. in J. Katan & J. E. DeVay (eds.) Soil Solarization. CRC Publications, Boca Raton: 159-170. 

      Grinstein, A., J. Katan & C. Zabludovski. 1990. Application of Soil-Solarization. Extension Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Israel. 

      Gullino, M.L., Katan, J., and Matta, A. 2000. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Chemical and Non-Chemical Soil and Substrate Disinfestation : Torino, Italy, 11-15 September, 2000. 

      Katan, J & J. E. DeVay. 1991. (eds.) Soil Solarization. CRC Publications, Boca Raton: 159-170. 

      Katan, J., Grinstein, A., & C. Zabludovski. 1990. Principles of Soil-Solarization. Extension Service, Ministry of Agricuture, Israel. 

      Katan, J., A. Greenberger, H. Alon & A. Grinstein. 1976. Solar heating by polyethylene mulching for the control of diseases caused by soil-born pathogens. Phytopathology 66:683-688. 

      Katan, J., A. Grinstein, A. Greenberger, O. Yarden & J. E. DeVay. 1987. First decade (1976-1986) of soil solarization (solar heating)-A chronological bibliography. Phytoparasitica 15:229-255. 

      Stapleton, J.J., DeVay, J.E., and Elmore, C.L. 1998. (eds.) Soil Solarization and Integrated Management of Soilborne Pests. Plant Production and Protection Paper 147, FAO, Rome. 656 pp.

      For more references, search the Volcani server


      Questions/remarks regarding Soil Solarization:
      Dr. Avraham Gamliel....
      Fax: + 972-3-9604704