Black Plasctic Covering vs Landscape covering
HI everyone! I'm new to this board and also new to gardening. I'm getting beds ready for next spring. I was thinking about covering my beds with black plastic covering now and that way I wouldn't have a load of work to do in the Spring.
I've done some research on the net and there seems to be a debate as to which is better black plastic covering or clear landscape covering. Any thoughts on this topic?
Also is it okay to cover beds during the winter or is there a reason that I should wait until spring.
You didn't say what zone your in. If you are in a long season area and are trying to kill weed seeds then a clear plastic works real well- helps to "cook" the weed seeds. If you are thinking about keeping the weeds down after you plant, then I'd recommend a landscape cloth that will let the water and air through.It works best in a shrub bed where there is a lot of space between the shrubs but if you want to plant flowers, it doesn't work, for me, as well because I like to plant my flowers close together. If your talking about vegetables then you can use ground cloth BETWEEN the rows. That keeps a lot of weeds down. Landscape cloth will last a lot longer and look better if it is covered with a mulch. Hope this helped.
I don't believe in using black plastic or any landscape fabric. In due time the plastic will break down and it will become a mess.
Gardening is a daily event. Every day, I walk the garden and notice something new. Maybe it's a weed to pull or a new spider web.
Do your weeding now and follow up with some mulch. Be sure to put a heavy layer of mulch down.
This is the hard time of the year to garden. IT's FALL... yikes.. Gardeners are performing hugh daily task in cleaning the garden form raking leaves to pruning perennials. I spent at least 6 hours yesterday cleaning the garden.
I also don't advocate the use of fabric or plastic, especially if you hope to plant someday where it will be layed down. Try searching for "Lasagna Mulching" on the internet to see what you get - it's the process of using newspaper or cardboard in place of fabric/plastic and putting mulch on top of that. It works better and breaks down in time for planting in the spring if you do it now.
When plastic starts to break down the pieces are hard to get out of the soil. Plus, if you put compost or mulch on top, some weeds will take root there anyhow and in a couple years it will be ineffective and still in your soil. Plus, often a "dead zone" is created under the layer of plastic/fabric which doesn't allow air or nutrients to penetrate- the beneficial organisms in the soil will often leave your garden.
Good luck in your search and good luck with your garden,