Plastic Mulch v. Organic Mulch

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Plastic Mulch v. Organic Mulch

Post by Melissa Gropm » Thu, 13 Apr 1995 04:00:00



I live in Richmond, VA and am about to put my tomatoe and
pepper seedlings in the garden.  The soil has been prepared and
I've just been waiting for warmer weather.  The problem is
this:  we've purchased a porous black plastic mulch and aren't
quite sure how to use it.  Last year we mulched with straw
only.  It didn't do the best job of keeping weeds out and I
thought we'd try the plastic -- not only for weeds, but to keep
soil warm and because it's porous.  

Do I wait for warmer temps before putting down plastic or put
plastic down now in order to warm the soil?  Also, is it best
to put down before or after planting seedlings?  Is there any
need to ALSO use straw or some other organic mulch?  If so, do I
put it under or over the plastic?.  

I've read that organic mulches, such as pine bark, are good
because you can till it in at the end of the season and
it ads nutrients to the soil.  This is just my second vege
Garden and I'm not sure of the pro's and con's of different
mulches.  Any advice is appreciated.  My E-Mail is:

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Melissa J. Gropman                      ph:     (804) 225-4452
Development Assistant                   fax:    (804) 786-5855

 
 
 

Plastic Mulch v. Organic Mulch

Post by Dick Gilm » Fri, 14 Apr 1995 04:00:00


The first year here in raleigh,nc i used black plastic, the second
year i used mulch.  The plants did much better the first year than
the second.  The black plastic retains water better, and prevents
splashing of the soil.  I have had alot of problems with disease,
I can't rotate my tomatoes that much and the black plastic keeps
the soil from getting on the leaves reducing the spread of
disease.  Weeds are nonexistent, but then in a good soil like my
garden has pulling weeds is a breeze.  I put the plastic down a
week before planting so that it had a chance to warm up the soil.  
 
 
 

Plastic Mulch v. Organic Mulch

Post by ALFRED VOR » Sun, 16 Apr 1995 04:00:00



writes:

Quote:

>The first year here in raleigh,nc i used black plastic, the second
>year i used mulch.  The plants did much better the first year than
>the second.  The black plastic retains water better, and prevents
>splashing of the soil.  I have had alot of problems with disease,
>I can't rotate my tomatoes that much and the black plastic keeps
>the soil from getting on the leaves reducing the spread of
>disease.  Weeds are nonexistent, but then in a good soil like my
>garden has pulling weeds is a breeze.  I put the plastic down a
>week before planting so that it had a chance to warm up the soil.  

iF YOU WANT EVEN BETTER RESULTS try red plastic mulch. According to an
article on tomato research in the magazine Growing Edge changing the
black plastic to red (by painting) resulted in a 20 % yield increase.

AL VORNE

 
 
 

Plastic Mulch v. Organic Mulch

Post by Negi » Thu, 27 Apr 1995 04:00:00


I reccomend the porus plastic mulch you're using over a solid sheet of
black plastic becsuse of its ability to transfer air \ water through the
soil. Its usually a good idea to mulch early in order to warm the soil to
promote germination and early growth.  However, the problem with mulching
(plastic or organic) while temps are still a bit cool and the weather
might still be damp is that the slugs and snails find the cover
particularly attractive!
         If you use the plastic mulch, it's a good idea to cover it with
something organic to hold it down and to keep the plastic from absorbing
too much heat.  Also, the organic mulch will work better for  holding
moisture in the soil, while the plastic should keep down weeds.  At the
end of the season you should be able to pull up the plastic, and work the
organic matter into the soil.  Good Luck!