Plastic garden covering - Covering the garden with plastic?

by Jill
(Chandler, AZ)

I've heard that covering the garden with plastic is a good way to keep moisture in (important in AZ) and helps to prep the soil for when I plant in October... Is this true? And if so, what are the benefits of covering with plastic? I'm from Arizona, and my summer gardening is a miserable attempt. Thanks for your time!

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Jun 05, 2010
Using plastic in the garden
by: Megan

For the sake of the environment and future, there are no benefits in using plastic, especially for the garden. There are some short term benefits in using plastic in the garden. Let me explain briefly...

Firstly the negative aspects. Plastic is a non renewable product made from non renewable resources — oil.

I believe that the scary pictures of vast amounts of plastic rubbish in the oceans and in landfills should be enough reason for us to stop buying this stuff.

Plastic in the garden can be a problem. It can stop rain getting through to long roots; it can be a nuisance if you want to shift plants to different places; it only stops weeds for so long as new ones blow or get dropped in; it stops nutrients from compost or fertilizers getting to plants' roots; it can inhibit soil warming or cooling whatever your needs may be — and so on. It looks uncool in an organic garden!

The benefits of plastic in the garden are that it can be extremely useful to kill off serious weeds such as rhizome grasses, dock, ivy, onion weed, and all those other tough characters. Plastic will smother the ground and stop light, thus kill weeds. Also if clear plastic is put over weeds in hot weather it will heat up underneath and do a good job of killing weeds, seeds and unwelcome pathogens in the soil.
Black plastic can be used to trap in warmth to keep soil warm for such things as early planting of tomato plants.

There are a lot more pro's and con's but my opinion is that a responsible and caring person these days should limit their purchases of all NEW plastic (hard I know as it is so useful), and more importantly look for ways of recycling the plastic stuff found everywhere. There are always plenty of more natural bio-degradable and safe renewable alternatives instead of plastic too.

So IF you have access to pre-loved plastic, then by all means use it in the garden, but it's up to you if you want to buy new plastic and continue the cycle of environmental damage to the world.

Apr 02, 2011
Ideas anyone? Gardening
by: Anonymous

I'm doing research today to try and figure out how to make hoop houses out of something besides plastic. Hoops can be made of metal, built with wood or bent willow. But the sheeting? Organic cloth is so expensive new. Buy sheets on sale? I need some ideas on this if anyone has any.
Thanks green friends.

Oct 03, 2011
Great Website!!!
by: Anonymous

This website is some bullshit

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