Black Plastic on New Plot

Last fall we used fully extended teeth of a box blade to tear up a  75′ X 50′ plot to expand our current growing space. It’s spring now and we decided to proactively smother the weeds before they take control of the bed. The standard is to cover the ground with black plastic and let the sun beat down for a minimum of 3 weeks before you finally prep the beds for planting.

There are many options to cover and smother weeds but we decided to go cheap and get thick black plastic rolls from the local hardware store. It ended up being more trouble than benefit. First, the wind easily picked up the plastic. We had to dig around the property for logs and rocks to hold it down. The strips were narrow enough that we had to lay down multiple pieces which increased the winds capability of lifting the  plastic.

It was almost comical watching us trying to stretch and lay the rolls down in the wind, throwing whatever was around us on top of the plastic to keep it down. It became a routine every evening, straightening the plastic out again. Although we had some success it wasn’t as devastating to the weeds as we had hoped.

What did we learn from this? Spend the money and buy the agricultural tarps. They will be worth it!