plastic over my vegetable garden

organic_chelsieOctober 30, 2007

Hello: I just finished preparing my soil for next spring, If I put a plastic over my vegetable garden thru winter, will it prevent weeds to grow??

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ianna(Z5b)

You mean black plastic? Thru winter only? That could work if you have the plastic throughout the growing season. In winter the seeds are dormant. Germination takes place in teh dark and so if you were to remove the plastic in spring, the germination accelerates and weeds grow back. However if the plastic remains in place throughout the season and thru summer, then you'd have prvented the weeds from growing --by blocking light and also kill these through the solarization. What's more the heat kills pests and so this practise will sterilize the aoil.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 10:49PM
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organic_chelsie

clear plastic............so basicly the plastic is doing nothing during the winter months? right? thank you for your response :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 6:12PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Clear plastic isn't effective in preventing weeds in any season. that's because it allows sunlight to penetrate and therefore promote seed germination. What you have created is a greenhouse effect. On the other hand, if you use black plastic, this is effective because it blocks off sunlight. Plants die because there's no photosynthesis taking place. It is effective in spring thru summer months into early fall. Winter- things go dormant and hence not effective in winter. Black plastic and similar landscape textiles also 'solarizes' the soil - meaning it traps heat which can't escape easily and therefore organisms and weed seeds are effectively killed off.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 1:30PM
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organic_chelsie

it makes sense to me..............my husband taught that he was doing a good thing....... I will remove it and leave be for the winter. thanks for your help... :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:13PM
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sammyqc(NE Quebec/zn 4/5a)

You could try a thick layer of newspaper, and layer some mulch/leaves on top to keep it in place. I did this in one bed this spring as an experiment, and it worked wonders. Kind of like the lasagna bed technique. I piled compost/almost compost/overwintered leaves/garden waste etc on the bed. Then I cover it with a thick layer of newspapers (8-10 sheets) and then cover that with composted cow manure. Made a very nice, almost weedless bed for my tomatoes this year. After pulling them out a few weeks ago, I dug through a bit just to see how the soil was, and everything is pretty much composted, and the number of worms was pretty amazing. I'm definitely going to do this again,I think this fall, so it has even more time to degrade in the other veggie plots.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 12:39PM
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