kaaryn
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:04 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

black plastic mulch?

I see a lot of mention online and in my books about using black plastic around plants that like it hot, like tomatoes, peppers and melons.

Is this something special, or would plain old black garbage bags work?

Hortoholic
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Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: NH - Zone4

Yes, horticultural plastic is suppose to be better for the garden than using any plastic......

Your garbage bag will leach chemicals into your garden faster and my cause heath issues this season if the correct product is not used.

I have not had proof that Hort-plastic is better.....

kaaryn
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Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:04 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Thanks. Do you suppose just using black landscape fabric would have almost the same effect?

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Roger
Senior Member
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

I use landscaping fabric a lot in my garden as a weed barrier. I usually end up burying it under other organic mulches. So far it hasn't affected my plants in any negative way I can see. It just looks ugly :)

Hortoholic
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: NH - Zone4

kaaryn wrote:Thanks. Do you suppose just using black landscape fabric would have almost the same effect?
I think that's a splendid idea - always good to allow the earth to breath and yes the black will heat up the soil underneath.

Snowdog
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:28 am
Location: Western North Carolina

I used clear plastic drop cloth for half my Crimson Sweet and Marketmore 76 cucumbers (on raised beds) and the difference in growth is far more dramatic than I was expecting. Those with the plastic mulch are easily twice the size on average with a few closer to triple the size. However, they also have a soaker hose underneath the mulch and under the soil (by only an inch or so), so maybe the watering method is helping as well.

The only drawback to using clear mulch that I've run into is the grass attempting to grow underneath.
I was going to go the black plastic route, but I heard it can become so hot as to actually damage the leaves that touch it. Watermelon seems to be a creeping-type plant, so that worried me.

Anyway, I think you'll be happy using mulch. It conserves water, too!

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