soldsoul4foos
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:52 pm
Location: Baldwin, ME

Woven polypropylene as weed control.

Greetings. First post.

I would like to use 5mil weight woven polypropylene as weed prevention. It would come in 6' rolls. 4 rows of around 100'. I'd then cut out my planting locations and plant. In the fall, I can roll it backup, and reuse in the spring. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this, but are there any pitfalls that I don't see? The problem I have is the location will just get overrun with weeds in a matter of weeks. I can't keep up with it. This seems like a 'good' solution. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bill
Maine

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Don't do it! No no and no again.

Here's why: I used to do yard work in my MIL and FIL's yard. From 1998 through maybe early 2007, I weeded, trimmed, pruned, etc., once a month. Then, in early 2007, FIL was diagnosed with a terminal condition. He had been the full-time caregiver for MIL, leaving him no time to work on the yard, which he had loved doing. :cry: We lost him in April, the same month that I *finally* had one of my knees replaced (they both needed it, but one at a time). So, no gardening for me for a while.

BIL, wanting to make the in-laws' yard a low-maintenance (and much neater) situation, hired a landscaper. Said landscaper put down yards and yards and YARDS of polypro weed cloth. :x When I got back into gardening, in mid-2008, weeds had started to come up through the weed cloth.

How-some-ever, pulling them up by the roots was very difficult. I couldn't dig them out anymore, like I had previously, because that would tear up the weed cloth. Pulling the weed from on top pulled the weed cloth up from the ground, leaving unsightly ripples. Etc.

Now, five years after the [dratted :wink:] stuff was installed, it has finally loosened up enough for me to get ALL of EVERY weed I go after. :twisted: And life is good again for me, bad for sow thistles, dandelions, invasive Yellow Star thistles, etc. Oh, yes: foxtails, and weeds whose names I don't know, but I do know they're bad news b/c they make my skin break out if I don't "suit up" for battle with long gloves, long sleeves, long socks with pants well over the socks, hiking boots, head scarf, etc. So yes, the weeds are bad weeds (yerbas malas) and they don't like it when I show up.

But the weed cloth is an ongoing pain in the patootie. I cannot fertilize the hydrangea or give it a good soaking. The ferns are dying due to lack of water (can't soak them, either).

Don't do it.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

DoubleDogFarm
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Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Woven polypropylene as weed control.

soldsoul4foos wrote:Greetings. First post.

I would like to use 5mil weight woven polypropylene as weed prevention. It would come in 6' rolls. 4 rows of around 100'. I'd then cut out my planting locations and plant. In the fall, I can roll it backup, and reuse in the spring. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this, but are there any pitfalls that I don't see? The problem I have is the location will just get overrun with weeds in a matter of weeks. I can't keep up with it. This seems like a 'good' solution. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bill
Maine
Bill,

Couple thoughts.

1. You will have to burn holes so the weave doesn't unravel.

2. After burning holes through the plastic, you are pretty much committed to planting that pattern year after year. You could turn the plastic 180 degrees or flip it over to change patterns. Move each roll to different locations of the garden. Run them N-S one year, E-W the next. blah blah blah.

3. Plastic adds nothing to the soil. I suggest you use several layers of newspaper or cardboard and cover with your favorite mulch.

Eric

soldsoul4foos
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:52 pm
Location: Baldwin, ME

Bill,

Couple thoughts.

1. You will have to burn holes so the weave doesn't unravel.

2. After burning holes through the plastic, you are pretty much committed to planting that pattern year after year. You could turn the plastic 180 degrees or flip it over to change patterns. Move each roll to different locations of the garden. Run them N-S one year, E-W the next. blah blah blah.

3. Plastic adds nothing to the soil. I suggest you use several layers of newspaper or cardboard and cover with your favorite mulch.

Eric
1. Yes, good idea. Handheld torch.
2. Right. That's what I thought of too. Cut the rows so they fit sidways as well.
3. Right. I just don't have the time to do that. Plus, I'd have to mulch the whole thing. It seems like all the weeds suck the water out of the ground. The poly would help prevent that.

We shall see. Really looking forward to trying this. :?

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

They come in nice neat rolls, but you would bury the edges to keep them down right? By fall they are going to be muddy and mildewy, possibly crawling with saw bugs and other critters.... There would be all kinds of plant matter as well as bugs -- live and dead, and other debris on top.

You'd need to remove all that stuff, then pull them out of the ground and thoroughly dry them at the very least before rolling them up and storing them.

I can't picture 100' of that rolling up nicely....

Then too, I'm not sure if fungal spores or bacteria in the material might not be carried over. Wash them in chlorine solution and dry them first? (where? how?)

...trying to imagine it...

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nedwina
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Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:28 pm
Location: CT River Valley

Re: Woven polypropylene as weed control.

soldsoul4foos wrote:Greetings. First post.

I would like to use 5mil weight woven polypropylene as weed prevention. It would come in 6' rolls. 4 rows of around 100'. I'd then cut out my planting locations and plant. In the fall, I can roll it backup, and reuse in the spring. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this, but are there any pitfalls that I don't see? The problem I have is the location will just get overrun with weeds in a matter of weeks. I can't keep up with it. This seems like a 'good' solution. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bill
Maine
I use it for my pumpkins, winter & summer squash. Works well with irrigation underneath. I natter on quite a bit about it here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43443

We middlebust trenches with the tractor and then lay & bury it by hand.

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