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Warming The Soil

Posted by rachel67 z5ME (My Page) on
Tue, May 6, 14 at 3:04

With such a cold late spring, I thought I would attempt to warm my soil with clear plastic for the next 3-4 weeks. In the past I have tried growing peppers and tomatoes with black plastic but felt it became to hot underneath during the growing season (raised rows, no soaker hose underneath). I believe it affected their growth. Warming the soil and then removing the clear plastic will still provide a benefit when I plant them right? I realize the soil will cool off when I remove the plastic but it's still worth it, right? I'm not looking to plant them any earlier than I normally do, just get the soil nice and cozy so they take off fast. Thanks .. hope this questions makes sense.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Warming The Soil

I believe it is true that black plastic or planting fabric becomes a problem later in the season unless there is irrigation under it.

I wouldn't buy plastic just for this purpose, especially since so much clear gets thrown away from job sites. I would buy the heavy-duty black planting fabric which can be re-used for many years.

RE: Warming The Soil

During the Master Gardener class we had a horticulturist in for the vegetable growing class who touted the benefits of plastic, black, clear, red, silver, for growing vegetables commercially. When asked if the plastic provided more benefit then organic matter he had no answer, but in my experience soils with adequate amounts of organic matter warm as fast as soils covered with plastic.
However, soil warming also depends on how much moisture is in that soil, and covering a too wet soil with plastic will simply trap that moisture which will slow soil warming.

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