Black Plastic Mulch – 1 Mil Smooth 3' x 50'
Black Plastic Mulch helps maintain soil moisture and protects vegetables and leaves from soil-borne diseases. Your crops will harvest 2 to 14 days earlier. Due to the increase in soil temperature, root growth will accelerate—and better roots mean better crops. Light is not transmitted through the plastic, eliminating a need for weeding or herbicides.
Prepare the soil bed completely before applying Black Plastic Mulch. Add your compost, fertilizer, or manure; remove all weeds and debris; and break up all large clods. Rake the soil to create a smooth, level surface. Make sure the soil contains a good supply of moisture before being covered. Beds should be firm and tapered away from the row center. Plastic should be tight to promote run-off.
Select a time to apply the Black Plastic Mulch when there is little or no wind. Bury one end of the plastic and unroll it down the row. Get the plastic as straight as possible and in contact with the soil surface. Cover all edges with soil to prevent wind problems.
Plant growth on mulch is often at least twice of what it is on bare soil. The resulting larger plants will require more water, so mulching is not a substitute for irrigation. If you use a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses, lay the hoses on the surface of the rows before covering them with plastic. Transplants can be set through Black Plastic Mulch by cutting holes with a sharpened bulb planter or utility knife.
Although Black Plastic Mulch warms the soil in spring, it can have disadvantages in summer. Excessive heat can build up under the plastic, and overly high soil temperatures can injure plant roots and reduce yields. Rather than remove the plastic and lose the advantage of weed control, cover the plastic with pine needles, grass, straw, or similar material for shade if the crop foliage itself does not provide good cover.
At the end of the season, or once you have harvested your crops, simply remove and dispose of the Black Plastic Mulch.