Re: [gardeners] sterilizing the soil

George Shirley (
Mon, 02 Jul 2001 11:27:34 -0500

Easiest and cheapest way to do large areas is with polyethylene sheets. Clear is
the best way to go, cover the area you want to sterilize with the clear plastic
sheeting, a least 4 mil thickness, cover edges with soil. Leave for several
weeks during the summer. Should kill the grass and weeds then their seeds sprout
again and the heat kills them. This cycle continues until nothing else comes up.
Beneficial stuff like earthworms just move out. Is this what you were looking
for? Oh yeah, it only affects the area that is covered.

George wrote:
> Not too long ago I saw on the list suggestions for "sterilizing" the soil.
> Please send the procedure again. I have been preparing my landscaping areas,
> planting, Preening,  mulching and using RoundUp on the perimeters. Some areas
> on my 4+ property, though are too large to mulch but I do want to grow
> grasses, daylillies, wildlife landscape trees and shrubs.  Mowing these areas
> and the high ridge behind them is time consuming.  It looks great when the
> grass is mowed and the weedeater used... this doesn't last long, though. I
> can't afford mulching this large area. Is sterilizing the soil an option for
> me? How long would it last? How close to ther existing plants can I get IF
> this is a "doable" option?