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Monica Ozores-Hampton, Philip A. Stansly, Robert McSorley and Thomas A. Obreza

Many vegetable growers rely on methyl bromide or other soil fumigants to manage soil pathogens, nematodes, and weeds. Nonchemical alternatives such as solarization and organic amendments are as yet largely unproven, but do offer promise of more sustainable solutions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of long-term organic amendments and soil solarization on soil chemical and physical properties and on growth and yield of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Manst.). Main plots consisted of a yearly organic amendment or a nonamendment control. Four subplots of soil sanitation treatments consisted of solarization, methyl bromide, Telone, and nonfumigated. Each subplot was divided into two sub-subplots, one with weed control and one without weed control. Plant biomass was higher in plots with organic amendments than in nonamended plots. There were no differences in marketable pepper and watermelon yields between organic amended and nonamended plots during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, respectively. However, higher pepper yields were produced from organic amended plots in the 1999-2000 season. Soil pH and Mehlich 1-extractable P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Fe, and Cu were higher in organic amended plots than in nonamended control plots. Soil organic matter concentration was 3-fold higher in amended soil than in nonamended soil. Effects of soil sanitation and weed management varied with crop and season. The methyl bromide and Telone treatments produced higher yields than soil solarization. In general, weed control did not affect plant biomass and yield for any of the crops and seasons. The results suggest that annual organic amendment applications to sandy soils can increase plant growth and produce higher or comparable yields with less inorganic nutrient input than standard fertilization programs.

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Milad El Riachy, Luis Rallo, Raúl de la Rosa and Lorenzo León

) and the height ( Hackett, 1985 ; Lavee et al., 1996 ) of the seedlings. Then, all factors that increase seedling growth have a positive effect in reducing the JP ( Zimmerman, 1973 ). Soil solarization is a technique that uses solar energy transferred

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Zai Q. Yang, Yong X. Li, Xiao P. Xue, Chuan R. Huang and Bo Zhang

Single-span plastic greenhouses and solar greenhouses are frequently employed in protected horticulture in developing countries due to their simplicity and low cost. In China, the area of single-span plastic greenhouse and solar greenhouse is 4

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W. Carroll Johnson III, David B. Langston Jr., Daniel D. MacLean, F. Hunt Sanders Jr., Reid L. Torrance and Jerry W. Davis

experimental design was a split-plot, with treatments replicated four times. Main plots were soil solarized with clear plastic mulch and nonsolarized. Solarized plots were freshly tilled midsummer, irrigated to field capacity, and covered with clear plastic

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Li-Hong Gao, Mei Qu, Hua-Zhong Ren, Xiao-Lei Sui, Qing-Yun Chen and Zhen-Xian Zhang

Protected horticulture production has a long history in China, and the earliest recordation is written in the Hanshu in the Han Dynasty (206–23 BCE) ( Jiang et al., 2004 ; Zhang, 2005 ). In recent years, new solar greenhouse technology has been

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Tadahisa Higashide

et al., 1989 ). Hisaeda and Nishina (2007) reported that weekly tomato yields in a commercial greenhouse could be predicted from the cumulative solar radiation for a period from 8 to 1 weeks before harvesting. However, they predicted the yield only

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Kristen Hanson, Tilak Mahato and Ursula K. Schuch

Soil solarization uses solar radiation to disinfest the soil from pests detrimental to crop plants ( Katan, 1981 ; Stapleton, 2000 ). Soil solarization is used most in areas with high solar radiation and temperatures during the summer season ( Gill

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Jayesh B. Samtani, Celeste Gilbert, J. Ben Weber, Krishna V. Subbarao, Rachael E. Goodhue and Steven A. Fennimore

restrict the use of a specific fumigant in a geographical area, among other restrictions. In addition to direct effects on fumigant use, compliance costs are increasing, reducing growers’ net returns. Solarization is a non-chemical approach widely used in

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Harsimran K. Gill, Robert McSorley and Danielle D. Treadwell

Soil solarization, also referred to as solar heating or solar pasteurization, is accomplished by passive heating of moist soil covered with transparent plastic film for more than 6 weeks ( McGovern and McSorley, 1997 ). Solarization is a useful

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Joseph M. Caprio and Robert D. Snyder

Abbreviations: DU, developmental units; STU, solar thermal units. 1 Professor. 2 Research Assistant. Contribution no. J2345 from Montana Agr. Expt. Sta. Supported, in part, by funds provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA