Question about weed killing plastic.

Dirtmechanic

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In between my raised beds down here I put down landscaping cloth and will cover that with wood chips to keep the grass and weeds down and provide me a place I can walk when it is wet without getting muddy. I'm waiting on a call to go get the wood chips. They said they would call when they got a clean load of live oak chips but it may be time for a wheel to squeak some.

In Arkansas with a more traditional in-the-ground garden I'd spread wheat straw over several layers of newspaper or cardboard in between the rows to keep weeds down, give me a better pace to walk in wet weather, and to keep the dirt from splashing up on the plants. That dirt splashing up can carry blight and other diseases with it. The paper, straw, and cardboard would mostly compost in place and could just be tilled in the next year. An added advantage was that the areas I actually mulched between the rows like this usually kept enough mulch to stop new weeds and grass from growing until I was ready to till it in the next spring. That made preparing that area the next year much easier since I did not turn it under using a plow but instead used a shovel or mattock if I turned it.

In Arkansas I used wood chips over landscaping cloth in landscaping beds as mulch. Those wood chips were typically whatever utility companies ground up when trimming around utility lines. Those could be pine, oak, elm, maple, vines, or all kinds of trash trees. The chips would rot in place and make a good compost, though sometimes I would get some trash tree seeds. That compost made a great place for my Bermuda grass to spread to and grow in. So every year I'd pull up the landscaping cloth and clean it off, replacing with new chips. I'd use the rotted wood chips as mulch in my rows as the good woods were still in chip form. The following year they were tilled into the garden.
I have used both sawdust and woodchips in the walks also. Being hillrows, they would soak. I dug them out as compost and spread them about the yard. It is a great way to break chips and dust down fast!
 

catjac1975

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Back out a ways and look at it through the 1 inch per week rule. Here we are probably past 60" for the year. 52 weeks in a year also gives the nominal number for watering. One day last year we got 4.75" in one day. And...drum roll...we have clay. While splash is an issue, an oxidizing soil surface combined with a thyme oil spray has done pretty well for early blight and other garden nasties. I am on hill rows which helps also.

At this point I would like to introduce you to my problem of an average temperature of 90f for the summer, with evening temps in the 70s at a minimum. Its a fungus party mixture.
Wow!
 

ducks4you

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The idea of inhibiting surface moisture is so foreign to me. No such troubles in my northern garden.
OMG, in IL we have SO MUCH HUMIDITY that last summer I never filled up my horse's 100 gallon water tank more than once bc it was a super wet year! They were getting all the water they needed from pasture grass. Go figure! We get Lots of mold, mostly I see it on the north side of all my buildings's siding.
 

catjac1975

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OMG, in IL we have SO MUCH HUMIDITY that last summer I never filled up my horse's 100 gallon water tank more than once bc it was a super wet year! They were getting all the water they needed from pasture grass. Go figure! We get Lots of mold, mostly I see it on the north side of all my buildings's siding.
Live and learn.
 
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