The effect of microwave radiation and soil depth on soil pH, N, P, K, SO4 and bacterial colonies

Andrew CooperA and Graham BrodieA,B

A School of Resource Management, Dookie Campus, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3647, Australia.
B Corresponding author.


Alternatives to chemical weed control are currently being examined. Microwave heat treatment for weed seed bank control has been considered for some time. This study investigated the effect of microwave heating on key soil nutrients, pH and bacterial populations. The findings suggest that microwave treatment has little to no effect on soil nutrients and pH. Microwave treatment significantly reduced soil bacterial populations by 78% in the top 2 cm after 16 min of microwave treatment; however the soil was not sterilized and bacteria could regenerate after treatment.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2009) 24 (2) 67-70.