Tomato ground covers

grow_life(6A OH)September 2, 2014

Up til now I have just been using straw in my rows. Foliage disease pressure has been incredible this year, and weeds ignored the 6"+ of matted straw, so next year I am planning on using either black plastic or landscape fabric with straw on top. I have been using soaker hoses for irrigation, but they are cheap ones from a box store clearance rack and they are done. Next season I will either upgrade to quality soakers or go with drip line with pre-spaced emitters (12") I have about 10 rows, 20-40 ft long. Question posed: Plastic or fabric? dripline or soakers? What are your experiences?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Drip tape is far better than soaker hoses. It is cheap and easy to use. Plastic mulch is cheap and disposable, fabric is more pricey, but can be reused. How big of an area are you talking?

Jay

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
randy41_1

i wouldn't use straw on top of plastic mulch, just plastic mulch alone. i would use t-tapes.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grow_life(6A OH)

It's not a big area. I'll be planting about 8-10 30 foot rows. I lean towards soaker hose just because I hate messing with lots of fittings, but the cheap hoses weren't working for me this year. What's a good source for the drip tape/t tape?
Also, I know a lot of the disease problems are soil borne, is the plastic a better barrier, or the fabric, as far as keeping the foliage clean? I like the permeability of fabric, but I wonder if that would be sufficient. I'm also planning on tinkering with grafting next year, just to see if it makes sense for me. I do almost exclusively heirlooms for a local chef.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boulderbelt(5/6)

landscape fabric and drip tape is what we have used for the past 10 or so years. Used to use thin plastic but that would usually get torn up after 2 to 3 months of use and be useless for weed suppression mainly because we keep our aisle ways grassy and that means mowing and weed whacking and such equipment can do great damage to plastic but not to landscape fabric. And LF is reusable for at least 11 years.

Drip is so much better than soaker hoses

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 4:52PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Sustainable Online Farm Summit | March 18-21 | Free*
Summit features 18 speakers. It appears that these...
chardy_har_har
Putting down plastic mulch inside and outside.
While there are many methods, techniques and tricks,...
jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
Tilling and making raised beds
I was busy last night tilling up ground, making raised...
jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
Selling Tomato Plants?
We have a small produce farm, and we sell everything...
tawnyap1
Big score, for free
My friends family owns a small chain of grocery stires...
jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
Sponsored Products
When I See An Elephant Fly Pillow Cover
$29.99 | Dot & Bo
Flash Furniture Contemporary Red Barstool
$150.00 | LuxeDecor
Calligaris | New York Leather Side Chair - Quick Ship
YLiving.com
Bombay Duvet Cover Set
$139.99 | zulily
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs
$79.00 | Home Depot
P001VB Pillow Top Porcelain Vessel Bisque
PLFixtures
Evolution Spring 1 Queen-size Microfiber Futon Mattress
Overstock.com
Maple 1 Light Wall Lantern
$184.00 | Bludot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™