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I live in Suriname, South America, where the weather is tropical. I have a raised bed that is 53' long and 2 1/2' wide.

I have had problems with nematodes, so I plan to solarize the bed with clear plastic. I plan to return to the States early next year, and will probably not return to Suriname for ten months. I was thinking of putting the plastic in place before I leave, and leaving it on for the whole time. My thinking is to decrease the nematode population and also keep the grass and weeds from taking over.

My question is, would there be any problem with solarizing for that length of time? Any input or ideas?
 

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Just howling at the moon
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I see no problem with doing it that long but do feel blck plastic would be better. Unless you sealed it up air tight (which cna't be done) grass could still grow under the clear plastic. Black plastic will heat the soil up to sprout all seeds and then bake the plants as it gets hot.
 

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Failure is not an option.
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Hey.

I would be concerned with the strange molds that might grow underneath there during a 10 month absence. Also, you might end up killing the helpful organisms in the soil. As mentioned by WWW, black is better for solarizing.

RF
 

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I have had success with preparing a garden site that was growing in pasture by using clear plastic and solarization. The plastic was in place over 3 months and any growth that did come up was eventually killed off by the excessive heat and dryness (thus "solarizing"). After that process it was quite easy to also till up and ended up having a beautiful garden from this process.
However, if you are considering tackling a nematode problem, I'd try doing more than just relying on any solarizing process. If it were me, I'd plant the entire area in french marigold by heavily seeding and let this growth get well off to root into the ground that should help with the idea of repelling harmful soil nematodes. I'd just let the marigolds flower up and till it all in before planting up for a garden. :shrug:
 
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