Soil Solarization – 30 Years On: What Lessons Have Been Learned?

  • Jaacov Katan
  • Abraham Gamliel
Part of the Plant Pathology in the 21st Century book series (ICPP, volume 1)


Soil solarization (SH) in its present form was first introduced in 1976 in Israel. Shortly thereafter, it was investigated in the USA. Since then, it has been studied in over 60 countries, both developed and developing, in hot climate regions, but to some extent also in more humid and cooler regions. It is used by farmers in many countries. As with any new method, introduction of SH involved several stages covering both fundamental and applied aspects: (1) Exploring and documenting SH effectiveness (with respect to spectrum of pest control) in various regions and cropping systems. (2) Studying mechanisms of pathogen control (both physical and especially biological) and of crop-growth improvement. Models referring to physical and biological processes were developed. (3) Integrating SH with nonchemical and chemical (at reduced dosages) means. (4) Implementing SH. (5) Improving SH and adapting it to various uses. (6) Developing extension and training tools. SH is climate-dependent and has advantages and limitations. It is not connected with commercial companies, making its dissemination more difficult. Multidisciplinary studies, governmental support, knowledge transfer and international cooperation are essential for introducing nonchemical methods of control.


Soil disinfestation Soilborne pathogens Soil solarization Solar heating 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food and Environmental Quality SciencesRehovotIsrael

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