There have been multiple researches on tarps, used for reducing or sometimes, replacing tillage. It works by controlling the growth of weeds and then decomposing any crop residue. Organic vegetable farmers, most of the time, rely heavily on soil tillage for controlling weeds, covering crop residue, adding amendments and preparing for clean seedbeds.
But, using too much tillage can decrease soil’s longevity as it cause compaction of loss of structure, moisture and organic manner. For some farmers, tillage can be expensive too and time consuming. That’s when the proper use of impermeable, black tarp or plastic covers before planting comes to the rescue. It helps reducing weed pressure, preserve the already prepared soil for multiple weeks and even decompose crop residue. So, using one for your agricultural land can be of great choice.
The inspiration came from European farmers:
The use of tarp to prevent weeds came from the European organic farmers. They have attracted attention of all the small-scale growers and home gardeners with such invention. The credit goes to the technique involved in the usage of such tarps. Generally speaking, the tarp is used for smothering the weeds before planting. It also deters the future ones from taking place. The dark color of the tarp is pretty amazing to absorb heat and also to warm up the soil.
Weeds ensure to germinate in moist warm conditions, as created by tarp. But they get killed by light’s absence. That’s why the black tarp is highly used by farmers these days. It is one simple way to get rid of the issues related to weed and enjoy a promising farming land in near future as well.
Ways to clear land before using the black tarps:
So, you have already thought of using black colored tarp for your farmland, which is a good idea. Now, the real question is now to clear up the land before you do so. For that, few steps are all that you need.
- Make sure to mow the area or trim it to ensure that the plants and weeds are lower to ground. Remember to remove any possible visible weeds.
- Now, you have to apply around 2 to 3 inches of organic compost, which is also heavily optional.
- Then is the time to place the black colored polythene plastic sheet straight flat on ground and then pegs it down.
- You can add pop fine holes in the tarp. It allows the moisture and air through.
- Leave the tarp like this for around 2 to 3 months in summer or for at least 6 months in winter season.
- After the given timeframe is over, lift up the plastic, remove the slugs and then dig right up the perennial weeds.
- In case you have applied the organic compost right at first, you have to apply another good layer at this point.
Make sure to plant your seeds directly into the compost and on the very first year, you can see crops popping up! So, get to these tarps right away!
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