Quick garden update

Every year I battle grass and weeds in my main garden. Every year I lose.

This year after my spring/summer crops went by – I decided to try something different to eliminate or reduce the unwanted vegetation. I covered my entire garden with thick black plastic. The idea here is to block the sun from reaching the soil for several months – and everything underneath should die off – and not return.

Should work.

My only concern is with seeds. Any seeds dropped by the weeds may still germinate next year. Regardless – the quantity and severity of the problem should be reduced substantially.

I will let everyone know.

By the way – since we are talking gardening – this is a good time to buy extra seeds and put them back. I will have a post upcoming on saving seeds. Honestly – the best method to stock up on a large variety of seeds and packaged for long term storage is with an Emergency Seed Bank. Check it out HERE.


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  1. If I have my facts right, a temperature of as little as 150 degrees will cook most seeds. The black plastic idea works well, I’ve used it in the past on the major paths in my garden here, cooks the seeds and partially sterilizes the soil with the heat. So pray for some hot days!

    Personally I’ve started tilling in the older spring crops and getting ready for the fall crops, more cabbage, lettuce, peas, turnips, carrots, spinach and mustards.

    I know your tired of the weeds, but there is more potential for your soil!

    • BePrepared –

      I am going to plant a fall garden in my raised beds. Good thought on the heat and the seeds. Believe me – there are been plenty of hot days.

      Take care –


  2. On the topic of gardening…not everyone has room for a large garden. Those living in a big city won’t have any room at all.

    What are everyone’s thoughts on combining Passive Hydroponics:

    with making your own fertilizer:

    The only reason I suggest making your own fertilizer is that it’s a lot easier to justify stockpiling epsom salt (which may simply annoy your local grocery store stockboy) instead of large quantities of fertilizer (which may place you on terrorist watchlists), especially if you live in a big city.

    Based on feedback here, I might give it a try.

  3. Rourke – I am planning to try the same thing … waiting for the last of my crops to stop producing. I figured this would kill the weeds and I would just rake away the dead vegetation in the spring. Then fortify the soil with compost and wait to see how many weed seeds survived to make my life hell.

  4. Rourke,

    I think your idea with the plastic might be a good one. Thanks for your web site here. I enjoy it immensely. I value the information you and others provide, but I also value your honesty. When you admit some of your plans don’t work out, it gives your site even more authenticity and a sense of “realness”. Keep up the great work!

  5. I have done this in the past and had good results. The first time I did this I used black plastic, but after talking with our extension office they suggested using the clear plastic. They say that it will actually let the temperature get higher and do a better job of killing the seeds. I have my clear 4 mil bought and ready to try this weekend. Hope that helps. Good luck getting rid of the seeds and having a productive garden. One question for you are you planting anything in a fall garden? Now is the time to get those things in the ground.

  6. Hey Rourke-

    There’s an organic farmer near our property that does something similar. But they leave the covering on during the growing season with holes in it for the plants they want. During the winter they pull it up.

    They left it on year round last year because they never got around to pulling it up and they ended up raising mice underneath during the winter. Said mice ate their entire early crop. Never again!

    For their rows they have a cool machine that mounds the dirt and stretches the black plastic over it tightly, then a second machine that pokes holes and plants seeds in it. This plastic doesn’t get reused at the end of the year.

    In the greenhouses they use a fabricy type thing that’s also plastic, but it’s woven and not pure sheet. They actually just use a torch to burn a hole where they want it. This cloth is reused for several years until it’s not usable anymore.

    They’re a family run commercial operation so they have some cool machines, but the overall concepts are pretty sound. I can probably provide more information if you are interested.

    • Rudy –

      There is a local farm that does something similar – for both tomato plants as well as strawberries.

      I am going to remove the plastic in the spring (my wife doesn’t like the looks of it), till the garden, and utilize some weed fabric to control any leftovers.

      Thanks – Rourke

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