Wds83
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Garden Mats?

This was my first garden. I used plastic mulch and I had really great results. I had more Tomatoes,Peas,Beans,Peppers,Zucchinis then I knew what to do with...

Next year my garden is going to be much bigger. One problem I had with the plastic mulch is the weeds growing in between the rows and it seemed liked the plants didn't get enough water. I had to rip the plastic as the plants got bigger. I know I could use grass clipping and other mulch to keep the weeds down I really don't want to do that.

Here is a few pictures of my garden this past year.

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I saw a commercial on TV for a product called Garden Mats. Does anybody have any experience with them?

A picture of them...

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ReptileAddiction
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Well if you decide to use those you will only be able to plant crops that need that spacing. I think they will be very limiting.

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rainbowgardener
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I don't know... if the holes are close enough, then you can choose to plant in every hole or every other or every third, etc. You will just have to mulch over any un-used holes, so weeds don't pop up in them.

It seems like an improvement over your plastic, since it is supposed to be air and water permeable.

Beyond that I can't say, because I only use organic mulches like the grass clippings and stuff you mentioned. The one thing about your mats is that they add nothing to the soil. Therefore you are condemned to keep fertilizing. And since putting compost on top of them won't add much to the soil either due to the barrier, you are probably condemned to keep using liquid synthetic fertilizers. I don't use any chemicals in my garden either. But if you do, then your mats will probably work well in that kind of regime.
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tomc
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Get seeper hose and set it out under plastic mulch. Big box stores put it on sale in the spring.
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ReptileAddiction
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And you will have to pull it up every year because weeds will go through it and if you don't stop that at the end of the year it will be like having to deal with weed block.

Wds83
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rainbowgardener wrote:I don't know... if the holes are close enough, then you can choose to plant in every hole or every other or every third, etc. You will just have to mulch over any un-used holes, so weeds don't pop up in them.

It seems like an improvement over your plastic, since it is supposed to be air and water permeable.

Beyond that I can't say, because I only use organic mulches like the grass clippings and stuff you mentioned. The one thing about your mats is that they add nothing to the soil. Therefore you are condemned to keep fertilizing. And since putting compost on top of them won't add much to the soil either due to the barrier, you are probably condemned to keep using liquid synthetic fertilizers. I don't use any chemicals in my garden either. But if you do, then your mats will probably work well in that kind of regime.
I do use synthetic fertilizers so that doesn't bother me about the mats. The one thing that bothers me is the hole placements. They list the mats and the vegetables they were design for but some see to be really close. I will basically be planting the same crops every year. With the mats I do have to plan my garden well.

One thing I liked about the mats they can be used for a couple years (at least they say they can!) Just lift them and rinse them off for next year. The plastic mulch I used did come up pretty easy this fall when I cleaned up but I really wasn't happy with the weeds in between and the lack of water to the plants.

They would cost a bit to get started but this is a hobby for me and the cost doesn't really matter. I'm also getting a hoop house this summer to extend my growing season in NEPA. The hoop house will be located on a different spot on my property.

I like the idea of running seeper hoses under the mats to make watering much easier. Just trying to get ideas before spring!

Thanks
Bill

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I think I will stick with permeable weed block for mulch. It is easier to get; I can put the holes where I need it and the size that I need. I made a mistake the first time I used it and tried to water from above. It works a whole lot better with drip irrigation from below. I also had to overlap the seams and anchor it with garden u wires or the weeds do come up between the mat seams. I still get weeds coming up around the base of the plants but it is less to have to pull.
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