As soil temperatures begin to rise in glasshouse crops, it’s the perfect time to start the new growing season with a clean approach, breaking weed, pest and disease cycles.
For growers of winter lettuce crops such as leafy salad, baby leaf, rocket and spinach, it’s particularly important to employ a strict clean-up of all over wintered weeds heading into spring.
The inclusion of a soil sterilant, such as Basamid, as part of an integrated approach, is effective in minimising weed-return, controlling nematodes such as eel worm, and reducing fungal disease levels in the soil, with no effect on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for subsequent crops.
Using Basamid soil treatment will give the subsequent crop a head start, reducing further herbicide inputs and soil disease inoculum sources.
Top tips for soil sterilisation
• Soil temperatures are important – take soil temperature readings (10 cm depth) for three days before the treatment is scheduled to ensure they are at the optimum of 10°C or above
• Plan ahead – irrigate the area 10 days before as the sterilisation process requires 60-70% water holding capacity in the soil
• Think about your equipment – ensure that you have the right machinery and that it’s calibrated to evenly distribute the product horizontally and vertically in the soil profile
• Place high quality, gas tight, non-permeable polythene over the area and irrigate over the top to trap the MITC gas for as long as possible
• After application carry out a ‘cress test’ to make sure that the soil is ready for replanting – for more information on this click here