Soil Preparation & Fumigation Services


Leicesters provides a number of soil services to fruit and vegetable growers throughout the country.  ‘Growers’ crops include potatoes, melons, tomatoes, and strawberries, fruit and nut trees, berry fruit and nursery crops. Soil fumigation and disinfestation is highly important for effective growth of tress and strawberries, preventing soil pests and soil borne diseases.

Our soil preparation services include:

  • Broad acre fumigation
  • Row crop fumigation
  • Strip fumigation
  • Bed forming
  • Polythene laying
  • Tree planting
  • Strawberry fumigation

Leicesters Services


Application and Soil Preparation

Soil fumigation should be timed according to the environment factors that influence the effectiveness of fumigation, especially soil moistures and temperature, autumn / spring. Clear the soil of fresh or decaying plant material first, as it t may partially absorb soil fumigants, preventing the fumigant diffusing through the soil air spaces. Soil should be cultivated to a depth of at least 30 to 35 cm, the deeper the cultivation, the better the penetration of the fumigant. Sub –soiling can also increase the effectiveness of fumigation by improving penetration of the chemical into deeper layers of the soil profile.

Soil Condition

Soils that are too wet or too dry will reduce the effectiveness of soil fumigation. For optimum effect the soil ready to be fumigated should be about 2/3 field capacity starting 8 to 14 days before treatment. This can be tested by doing a simple squeeze test. Soil temperature is also an importamt element. Temperatures between 10 degrees and 29 degrees C at depths of 15 to 20 cm are appropriate for soil fumigation. Final cultivation prior to application will help pulverise clods and remove plant trash, giving a level surface finish.

Sealing, Exposure Period and Aeration

A temporary seal is needed to prevent excessive diffusion of sol fumigants from the top several cm of soil. Polythene film, Packing, rolling, and light irrigation are usually sufficient to seal some fumigants Fumigated soil should be left undisturbed for some period of time after application. How long will depend on the type and rate of fumigant, the crop and target organisms, and environmental conditions. Waiting periods are specified on the product label for soil fumigants.


Broad-acre Tarp

Broad Acre Tarp
Sophisticated injector/tarp-laying machines enable larger areas to be fumigated by a mechanized glued-strip system. Successive tarps are glued together at each pass of the machine until the entire field is fumigated in one continuous operation Broadcast fumigation provides a broader zone of protection against nematodes, soil fungi and weeds.


Broad-acre Non Tarp

Sophisticated injector machine, which applies the fumigant deep into the soil, sealing the chisel trace above the fumigant outlet and at the soil surface.  Soil surface is compact rolled to seal in the fumigant. Water seal may be applied to enhance the seal of the soil surface.
Broad Acre Non Tarp


Bed Fumigation

Bed Fumigation
Refers to the practice of fumigating only the planting beds as opposed to broadcast fumigation where the entire field is treated. Beds are pre-formed before being shaped by a sophisticated tarp laying machine, which shapes and compresses the bed, and injects the fumigant, lays irrigation drip tape, before sealing the soil with a high barrier plastic film. Suited for Strawberry beds and other berry crops.


Polythene Laying

Specialised design machines for laying of polythene film including irrigation drip tape on bed rows for fruit and vegetable crops. Fumigation application can be applied at the same time as polythene is being laid.
Polythene Laying


Row Crop Fumigation

Row Crop Fumigation
Refers to the practice of fumigating only the planting beds as opposed to broadcast fumigation where the entire field is treated.


Strip Fumigation

Fumigation of plastic mulched strips, approximately 0.8m to 2m wide for certain crops such as melons and apple replants. Fumigation of such strips are for row crops.
Strip Fumigation


Tree Planting

Tree Planting
Mechanised apple tree planting using GPS The tractor automatically follows the correct row line working off GPS co-ordinates. The in row spacing’s for placement of the tree is also all provided by GPS signalling the correct location for placement of the planted tree.


Metam Sodium

Rotary spading injector for the application of Metam Sodium a liquid soil fumigant. Fumigant is applied evenly at depth of 10cm – 20cm beneath the soil surface in front of the spading machine. It is mixed through the tillage layer by the rotating spading blades. The soil surface is leveled and compacted by the rotating harrow and “sealed” by a power driven roller.
Metham Sodium