Sheeting the plot for winter

  • 13 Replies
  • 831 Views
*

juvenal

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Dorset coast
  • 272
Sheeting the plot for winter
« on: September 29, 2022, 23:08 »
Just started laying black plastic on vacant bits of my plot.

To cover, or not to cover?

Pro's and Cons, please....
DSCN3459.JPG

*

Subversive_plot

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
  • 1535
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2022, 04:10 »
I guess I'd start by asking why you are covering the ground with plastic sheet?  What are you wanting to achieve?
Gardening is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 18388
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2022, 08:16 »
Well it depends, if you are using it as a weed suppressant, in the short term, it works, but if itís solid plastic it wonít let any of the winter rains through which will be much needed after our summer temperatures this year. You need weed suppressant membrane for long term use.
A woman's place is in her garden.

See my diary pages here
and add a comment here

*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 55765
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2022, 09:35 »
I agree with Snowdrops, not a good idea to use solid plastic sheeting.
I use the Mypex/Yuzet kind of woven sheeting on my plot, as it lets water through. The soil underneath warms up quicker in the spring, I find.
If the ground was very weedy this year, you'll probably get a sudden rush of weed germination when you remove the covers in spring, so be prepared to hoe this off quickly, before you do any sowing.
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)
Diary comments
https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=56565.msg666947#msg666947

*

Debz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Glasgow
  • 1737
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2022, 09:50 »
I don't bother.  I give them a good weeding when I take the last of the crops out and then I just leave them until spring. 

*

KalisDad

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Renfrew, Renfrewshire
  • 46
  • Adopt. Dont Shop
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 19:29 »
I may be weird but I really enjoy hoeing the plot. Will be more difficult now the rain is constant but I'm happy to take a hand fork and weed weekly, you could try planting onion sets ect for a early crop next year to save the ground being bare all winter
Dad of a beautiful Cyrpus rescue called Kali (she's in the picture), A dog from my favourite place, what a dream

*

rowlandwells

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: northamptonshire
  • 2909
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2022, 17:31 »
I tend to agree with what's been said its not a good idea to use a solid black plastic sheet I tried that some years ago and it was the worst thing I could have done because it stopped the rain getting into the ground and the ground  didn't seem to get back to normal growing for some time after I removed the plastic sheet although it did stop the weeds I believe its a bad practice covering the ground with black plastic

*

Yorkie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: North Yorkshire
  • 25657
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2022, 20:08 »
I think the term is that the ground goes 'sour' if air and water can't get to it.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

*

Subversive_plot

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
  • 1535
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2022, 03:52 »
I think the term is that the ground goes 'sour' if air and water can't get to it.

Put another way, cutting off the air with plastic renders soil anoxic, leading to a bad smell.

*

Kirpi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Cornwall
  • 2
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2022, 00:37 »
To cover, or not to cover?

Pro's and Cons, please....

I go by the no-dig no-weed approach and apart from the odd "tuttt tutt" from the odd committee member, it works fine.

1. If you don't weed you won't get (more) weeds. Baring the soil only disturbs the soil and frees up more weed seeds from the natural seed bank in the soil.

2. Only clear ground if you are going to plant something else in it, then your new plants can get a head start without slugs or competition and will be large enough to cope when the ground cover closes back up.

3. Hand clear only those weeds which are growing taller than your crop and starving the crop of sunlight and stopping air circulation and providing slug shade. Ground cover is useful in keeping other weeds down and reducing moisture loss.

4. Only water when planting in and then never again. In this way the soil seeds rely upon constant rain to germinate.

5. Identify before you decide to weed - some weeds are plants you might have sown or planted in anyway. I often find sweetpea, peppers and certainly tomatoes as volunteers.

6. Cover your beds with well decomposed compost which will blanket out light to weeds and feed the crops. I don't use partially decomposed biomass as it provides ideal habitat for slugs. Well composted compost provides shelter for slug-eating beetles and attracts birds, hedgehogs and amphibians looking for pests to eat. 

so - there you have it - my weedy plot, which I am still pulling harvests from when my plot neighbours have rotovated and gone home until the spring.

*

Nobbie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire
  • 1034
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2022, 19:01 »
Another no for black plastic. When I used it, it just acted as a cover for mice/voles to dig tunnels and nests under keeping a big population going over winter to nibble on stuff.

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 18388
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2022, 19:11 »
To cover, or not to cover?

Pro's and Cons, please....

I go by the no-dig no-weed approach and apart from the odd "tuttt tutt" from the odd committee member, it works fine.

1. If you don't weed you won't get (more) weeds. Baring the soil only disturbs the soil and frees up more weed seeds from the natural seed bank in the soil.

2. Only clear ground if you are going to plant something else in it, then your new plants can get a head start without slugs or competition and will be large enough to cope when the ground cover closes back up.

3. Hand clear only those weeds which are growing taller than your crop and starving the crop of sunlight and stopping air circulation and providing slug shade. Ground cover is useful in keeping other weeds down and reducing moisture loss.

4. Only water when planting in and then never again. In this way the soil seeds rely upon constant rain to germinate.

5. Identify before you decide to weed - some weeds are plants you might have sown or planted in anyway. I often find sweetpea, peppers and certainly tomatoes as volunteers.

6. Cover your beds with well decomposed compost which will blanket out light to weeds and feed the crops. I don't use partially decomposed biomass as it provides ideal habitat for slugs. Well composted compost provides shelter for slug-eating beetles and attracts birds, hedgehogs and amphibians looking for pests to eat. 

so - there you have it - my weedy plot, which I am still pulling harvests from when my plot neighbours have rotovated and gone home until the spring.


Id o no dig also but I try to keep mine weed free, your version isnít as I understand & operate no dig . I hoe or in my case swoe on a regular basis to help with less weeds. The way I understand no dig to work in having less weeds is that by not turning the soil over, you donít bring buried seeds to the surface to get the light & then germinate. Do you not find by leaving the  weeds all around they flower & form seeds which just perpetuate them & so on ?

*

Kirpi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Cornwall
  • 2
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2022, 23:08 »
Quote
Do you not find by leaving the  weeds all around they flower & form seeds which just perpetuate them & so on ?

No - because I pick off dandelion flower heads just as they die back and before they form clocks and pull out forget-me-nots if they become too invasive.

I am not suggesting there is no control at all, but by allowing a ground cover carpet of natural plants, you reduce the amount of watering needed and there is nowhere for new seeds to establish as the ground is taken up.

This does lead to a slight increase in slugs, but the ground cover gives shelter to beetles, frogs and other predators which keep the slug population down, so there is a balance.

I do hoe clean if I am sowing a row of carrots, but established potted plants such as kale etc. are planted into the green carpet. Potatoes are just dibbed into the bed and weeds kept short until the potatoes show through.
 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2022, 23:10 by Kirpi »

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 18388
Re: Sheeting the plot for winter
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2022, 12:29 »
Thanks Kirpi, always good to hear different ways of doing things . :)



xx
New plot- what to do with it in the winter?

Started by BabyStar on Grow Your Own

10 Replies
1971 Views
Last post August 21, 2011, 14:41
by BabyStar
xx
New plot in winter... what to do?

Started by animalsvegetables on Grow Your Own

3 Replies
1216 Views
Last post December 05, 2010, 15:43
by noshed
xx
Winter veg or empty plot?

Started by New shoot on Grow Your Own

20 Replies
1862 Views
Last post January 05, 2021, 22:20
by al78
xx
Preparing my plot for winter.

Started by moggy on Grow Your Own

5 Replies
2472 Views
Last post October 24, 2007, 01:50
by muntjac
 

Page created in 0.275 seconds with 46 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |