The effects of soil solarization, with and without a Pseudomonas spp. cocktail or wheat rotation as alternatives to chemical control of Mesocriconema xenoplax, were investigated from 2004 to 2011. Preplant solarization and soil fumigation (67% methyl bromide + 33% chloropicrin mixture; henceforth, referred to as MBr) was initiated in 2004 in an orchard infested with M. xenoplax and a history of peach tree short life (PTSL). Plots consisted of nine treatments: (i) nonsolarized soil-alone, (ii) nonsolarized soil with bacteria cocktail (nonsolar-bacteria), (iii) nonsolarized soil with wheat (nonsolar-wheat), (iv) nonsolarized soil with bacteria cocktail and wheat (nonsolar-bacteria-wheat), (v) solarized soil-alone, (vi) solarized soil with bacteria cocktail solar-bacteria), (vii) solarized soil with wheat (solar-wheat), (viii) solarized soil with bacteria cocktail and wheat (solar-bacteria-wheat), and (ix) preplant MBr fumigation. Peach trees were planted into all plots in 2005. Nematode populations were suppressed 20 months longer after orchard establishment in solar-alone and solar-wheat plots than solar-bacteria and solar-bacteria-wheat plots. Pseudomonas spp. cocktails did not have a pronounced effect in suppressing M. xenoplax in this study. Fumigation effect on M. xenoplax population density dissipated 24 months after application. Solar-wheat-treated soil was as effective as preplant MBr fumigation in increasing tree survival from PTSL for at least 6 years after orchard establishment.
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