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Soil Fumigation. Category E Turf and Ornamentals Pesticide Applicator Training Manual Chapter 12. Terms. Soil tilth —the degree to which a soil has been tilled.

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soil fumigation

Soil Fumigation

Category E Turf and Ornamentals

Pesticide Applicator Training Manual Chapter 12

  • Soil tilth—the degree to which a soil has been tilled.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi —beneficial microorganisms that transport minerals to the roots of plants and which can be killed by soil fumigation.

Category E--- Chapter 12 Soil Fumigation

  • Soil fumigants—volatile chemicals that, when injected into the soil, emit toxic fumes which penetrate the air spaces in sufficient concentration to kill living organisms.
  • Soil fumigants are extremely toxic and must not be inhaled.
soil fumigation4
Soil Fumigation

Credit: University of California, Davis

Credit: Smithsonian Magazine

December 1996

successful soil fumigation
Successful Soil Fumigation
  • Goals:
    • Safe and accurate application.
    • Rapid dissipation after completion.
  • Factors in successful fumigation:
    • Soil temperature between 60-80°F at 6 inch depth.
    • Soil moisture between 50-75% capacity.
    • Good soil tilth.
    • Proper selection of fumigant for the soil type.
    • Organic mater must be decomposed.
    • Seals—usually plastic tarps to prevent too-rapid escape of the fumigant.
    • Best time to apply—late summer or early fall.
    • Waiting period before planting—range 2 weeks to 2 months.
soil fumigation special considerations
Soil FumigationSpecial Considerations
  • Temporary reduction of nitrifying bacteria in soil—can result in buildup of ammonium levels that could damage early crops.
  • Reduction of pests and predators.
    • Potential pest ‘rebound.’
  • Mycorrhizal fungi will be killed—will take time to recolonize.