Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It will be a while before I will use a plot of land that is covered in grass...regular lawn type grass.

I was thinking that to kill off all weeds and seeds that I would need to cover the area with plastic.

Would you recommend the black plastic....or the clear?

After wards I will be covering it with a hay/horse manure mulch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
Both black or clear plastic will work to solarize your garden area. However, they solarize much better during the heat of the summer. At this time of year, I would recommend smothering the area with lots of leaves and the hay/manure. Leave that over the area throughout the winter to decompose.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
And under the organic matter, you could put layers of newspaper or cardboard -- together, a really good way to smother anything!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
I tried valiantly to solarize my garden 2 years ago. Put down the black plastic in the middle of summer. It tore off the spikes. Lined the entire edge with 2x10s. They blew off too. Put cinder blocks and rocks every where and buried the edges of the plastic. Yep, blew off. Moral of the story: if you have a constant wind on your property, don't even think about doing it.

Smothering with cardboard, mulch and dirt is the way I do it now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,001 Posts
I've had good luck killing lawn grass by piling LOTS of wasted horse/ cattle hay on it. When any grass sprouts up through the hay, I just pile more on. It doesn't turn into great soil overnight, but after several years of this method, my formerly lawn covered front yard is nearly grass free :hobbyhors
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,965 Posts
Cardboard, newspaper, paper feed sacks, etc, covered with manure, used critter bedding, leaves, grass clippings. That will even smother Canadian Thistles. I did my whole garden that way a couple years ago and keep piling the stuff on now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,076 Posts
When you say it will be awhile before you use the plot--just how long of a period of time are you speaking of? If a year or more I would suggest leaving it as grass as it is easier to mow grass than weeds. If you have a roto-tiller, disk, etc. then it would probably be better to get it killed off and start preparing the ground for a crop.

If you can afford both clear and black plastic I would suggest you solarize it. Water the area and place clods or boards on edge to create an air gap under black plastic and cover it. Then add air gaps above the black and place the clear over it. Seal all edges. The two coverings will yield higher temperatures and if you give it long enough will basically heat most weed seed in the soil to render it no longer viable.

If you are planning on using it this coming year then if it were mine I'd simply get it tilled with soil amendments as quickly as possible so that worms can work at the organic matter all winter to yield a better soil.

Many don't believe in tilling but I still do as you can tell from my post. Once the plot is established with soil amendments in place it is then easier to go to a mulch only situation without further tilling.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
It will be a while before I will use a plot of land that is covered in grass...regular lawn type grass.

I was thinking that to kill off all weeds and seeds that I would need to cover the area with plastic.

Would you recommend the black plastic....or the clear?

After wards I will be covering it with a hay/horse manure mulch.
To solarize your soil, the first step to take is till it so that the soil is loose and free of clods to at least 6" deep. Second step is to cover the area with clear plastic for 6-8 weeks. To be effective, the soil temperature must reach at least 125ºF for prolonged periods. That can only be done if the soil is loose.

Martin
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top