Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Solar pest control project underway at Mace Ranch Park

SolarPestControlW

It looks like a lake has sprung up in Mace Ranch, but it's actually a giant clear plastic tarp that's covering the Mace Ranch Park Passive Recreation Area. The sun's rays are heating the soil underneath the tarp and killing insects, nematodes, weeds and diseases underneath in preparation for planting of native grasses later this fall. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A12 | September 17, 2013 |

Imagine harnessing the sun’s energy to destroy pests.

Like Archimedes, the ancient Greek whose “solar death ray” used mirrors to burn a Roman fleet, farmers, gardeners and landscapers can destroy or disable insects, diseases, nematodes and weeds in the soil without toxic pesticides.

The technique known as solarization consists of laying a clear plastic tarp on moist soil and letting the sun’s rays heat the soil. This process is occurring at the Mace Ranch Park Passive Recreation Area to prepare the ground for planting of native grasses in October.

In solarization, heat is trapped under the plastic, raising the soil temperature to kill or debilitate pests. Most of the research worldwide has concentrated on hot and arid areas, but anyplace with hot summers has the potential to use this system, a city of Davis news release said.

Usually, this soil pasteurization process takes four to six weeks, but the amount of time depends on many factors, such as rain, wind, day length, soil texture and the quality of the polyethylene tarp. Ultraviolet-protected plastic is recommended so the tarp can be removed and re-used.

Before solarization takes place, the land that is to be seeded or transplanted must be prepared for planting, the news release said. Ground must be leveled, beds shaped and an irrigation system installed. This is to avoid stirring up the soil after solarization, which would bring fresh pest organisms to the soil surface.

Depending on the outside temperature, sunlight density and the type of pests, soil solarization can provide good pest control 8 to 10 inches deep, the news release said, although best control is generally obtained down to 6 inches.

Comments

comments

Enterprise staff

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

     
    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8