No weeds this year!

seramasJune 17, 2010

All but the squash planted. Used a UV resistant ground cover this year (1800 sq yards), makes weeding easier.

Took this picture at night of the onion patch.

We have been picking peppers, peas, cauliflower and green onions.

Tomatoes are doing very good. This is a seedless tomato.

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Wow, nice! All I can grow is root crops here. It stays too cool during the day for tomatoes, squash, etc. Your set up looks grand!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:15AM
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dethride(7a / 6b GA)

I'm envious! After all the rain we've had up here in north GA the weeds have been prolific. It hasn't helped that I've been away from my garden doing a construction project.

I've used carpet for a couple of years to lay in between the rows and it has really helped suppress weeds. And, I've used black plastic in the same way and it works well.

But, there are drawbacks. I find that fire ants love having a roof over their construction projects and if one doesn't periodically check underneath, the nests can become large. I grow organically, so AMDRO fire ant killer ain't an option. I use pyrethrin drenches to keep them on the run.

Also, meadow voles, mice, and moles LOVE the shelter that the carpet produces and the cooling effect shelter gives them lots of things to eat - grubs, worms, etc., as they also love the shelter. The tunnels I find right under the carpet are astounding. I find that I perhaps should be moving the carpet more often.

Do you think you will have a similar situation?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:08AM
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With black ground cover (not landscape cloth) it will increase you soil temperature by 15 degrees F and reflect the light back up to the plants. Be sure to cover the ground 2-3 weeks before planting. For tomatoes be sure to add well composted organic material into the soil and 1 tablespoon Epson salts in each hole (be sure to mix it well into the soil at the bottom of the hole). Then tent them with 3' tall 3' wide hoops using 1" black PVC pipe (comes in big coils). Cut the pipe into 5' long pieces then push one end into the soil about 6"; slowly bend it and about 3' away push the other end in about 6". Now you have a hoop, do them every 3-4' until you have you intended row length. Take some small rope or cord; pound 2 anchor stakes (total 4) into the ground at both ends of the row (about 4-5' from the last plants in the row). Fasten a cord (rope) to a stake and wrap it around each hoop (about 1/3 of the way up on the hoop); then fasten to the end stake (be sure to pull it tight); repeat for the other side. Using 6' wide clear plastic (looks cloudy to me but they call it clear) over the hoops and on the windward side cover the edge of the plastic with soil to anchor it in place (be sure the edge is covered the entire length so the wind can't get under and blow it off. The other side use strips of wood (2"x1"x8') lattice strips (they're about $1. each) laying them on the plastic with a big ol' rock (BOR) on them to hold them down. This way you can get into your row and check on things or harvest tomatoes or open it up if it is too hot. Leaving both ends open will prevent overheating your plants.

Now you have a miniature greenhouse of sorts. You'll be surprise how long and fast you'll get tomatoes. This can be left up year around with the plastic rolled to the soil anchored side; weighted down with your lattice strips and BORs and if you buy greenhouse plastic (they call it film) it can be used over and over for 20-25 years. If you donÂt walk on the soil it wonÂt have to be reworked each year, just remove old plant and put new plant in its place.

Sounds like a lot of work and it is the first year but well worth the effort. Each year be sure to add more compost and Epson salts to replace the nutrients used by the crop.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:43AM
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If you need more rain we have more than our share this year!

We plan to remove them each year, each panel is marked with what was planted and each year they will be rotated. As for the rodents we put out feeding stations and they seem to be no-existent. Found many dead ones for awhile. The ants aren't a problem here.

It is a new product this year and is affordable (about $200 per 12' x 300' roll). It also is UV protected and will last about 15 years or more.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Thank you for the great growing advice. I will try something like you instructed for next year. We have a yard full of ponderosa pine and very little open areas for gardening. I have a small 8'X 8' plot with my potatoes, radishes, etc. We also get a lot of hail here that has destroyed my garden in the past :-(

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Great pictures and very happy looking plants!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:16PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

OHHHHH MY fantastic!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 4:22PM
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Naomi Miller

Your garden is lovely..... and I was just telling my husband that I wanted to do something similar next year so I could enjoy the garden instead of being a slave to it....would you mind telling us the name of your product or where to locate it.....thanks

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:26AM
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seramas is the main site, go to ground cover.

Start laying on the windward side (if the wind is out of the west that would be your windward side) of garden. Lapping the first sheet over the second (about 4"), this way the wind won't go under the second sheet and pull it up.

Be sure you get plenty of staples. On the side where the prevailing winds come from figure 1 staple ever 6". All other areas figure every 12". Don't put the staples straight down, but put them at a 45 to 60 degree angle, top of the staple toward the wind--this make it harder for the wind to pull it up.

In the south be sure to mulch during the hotter months so you don't burn the roots.

I used an old 1# vegetable can fastened to a 2"x2" x 3' board with box cutter blades duct taped to it to cut the round holes in the ground cover. Round holes fray less than slits in the ground cover and look nicer, too.

Then for planting I use two different kinds of bulb planter tools.

Will make a video that will show what I'm talking about and post it later.

link for the Staples to hold it in place:

Here is a link that might be useful: ground cover

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:52PM
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    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:08PM
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