Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson Today at 3:38 am

» My Compost Bin
by sanderson Today at 3:32 am

» Butterfly Junction
by sanderson Today at 3:25 am

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by sanderson Today at 3:07 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by LizDTM Today at 12:21 am

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 11:42 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by LizDTM Yesterday at 11:03 pm

» Today's Harvest
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:17 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:00 pm

» How to Grow Better Tomatoes
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 7:59 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 7:54 pm

» Helpful Beetles
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 7:45 pm

» Does MM improve with age?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 7:41 pm

» to mulch or not to mulch
by sanderson Yesterday at 7:36 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson Yesterday at 7:29 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 7:19 pm

» Garlic Growing Lovers
by SQWIB Yesterday at 5:31 pm

» Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland
by plantoid Yesterday at 4:02 pm

» Gardening & Homesteading Skills Summit REGISTER NOW!
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 11:23 am

» How much room for Tromboncino zucchini?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 11:08 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 10:20 am

» Thumbs Up????
by sanderson Yesterday at 10:03 am

» More Bad News for Bugs
by SQWIB Yesterday at 9:57 am

» What weed? is this? (with pic)
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:57 am

» Senseless Banter...
by Scorpio Rising 10/18/2017, 8:26 pm

» Lower south Oct 2017
by brianj555 10/17/2017, 5:02 pm

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 10/17/2017, 4:50 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by CapeCoddess 10/17/2017, 3:48 pm

» Turan in the Western Mountains
by countrynaturals 10/17/2017, 3:37 pm

» new greenhouse got drafted
by Scorpio Rising 10/16/2017, 8:08 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Warming up the beds

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Warming up the beds

Post  NancyD on 1/25/2011, 9:35 am

Has anyone used black trash bags over their beds to warm the soil? Does it work? Right now the beds are still frozen, of course. But it's going to be in the 40's today, and I was thinking about trying it as I'd like to start lettuce, etc ASAP!

I can't stand it anymore, so I'm starting pansies in the house today. I figure I can put lettuce in a pot before long. Then it can be moved onto the deck as weather permits. I know by March the pansies are normally fine outside. Can't wait!!

Nancy
avatar
NancyD

Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-04-07
Location : Eastern Panhandle, WV

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  quiltbea on 1/25/2011, 10:40 am

I've used brown pastic to warm up beds in early spring for summer crops and it works so I'd think using black trash bags can't be much different.

avatar
quiltbea

Female Posts : 4690
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 75
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  jerzyjen on 1/25/2011, 10:57 am

Nancy - I was thinking the SAME thing! It's also going to be in the 40s here in NJ - Its like a warm snap compared to what its been. In fact I'm going to head out there now and do that on my 2 table top beds. Those are the only beds that are ready right now.
avatar
jerzyjen

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 41
Location : Burlington County, NJ - Zone 6b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  isleofjava on 3/6/2011, 8:40 am

I know a lady in Beckley, WV who uses black plastic as a mulch for absolutely EVERYTHING. I can't argue with her success, but I'd be worried there'd be too much moisture retention in a square foot garden (she uses in ground gardening). She has the greatest yield in almost everything she grows. If, and when, I get enough blocks, I might try one with the plastic.
avatar
isleofjava

Female Posts : 7
Join date : 2010-06-03
Age : 71
Location : SW VA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  Old Hippie on 3/6/2011, 11:33 am

I read an article in a garden magazine the said while black plastic was good, clear plastic was even better. Dark colours attract the heat and helps warm the ground up quicker. Apparently, according to their experiment, the dark plastic heated up which did help the ground underneath to get warmer. However, the clear plastic over the ground actually allowed the GROUND to attract the heat, rather than just the plastic, then trapped the heat so it actually worked faster.

Since then, I have always used clear. But if black is what you have, it will definitely help.

Gwynn
avatar
Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 66
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2011, 1:56 pm

As for the colors, I used the brown plastic mainly to help deter weed growth besides helping to warm the soil and keep it dry from the heavy rains. The soil warmed up a bit, but not as much as my clear plastic beds.

I have to admit I didn't like the dry feel of the soil just under the plastic itself. This year I will be more conservative with the brown plastic.

As for warming up the soil, the clear plastic I put over my raised beds in the spring did a lot better. The clear does not deter weeds but as a warming factor, its A+ in my book.

These were some of my beds with clear plastic last Mar 18th. Unfortunately this year my beds are still under over a foot of snow. Ugh. I don't know when I'll be able to cover them with clear plastic.

Eliot Coleman did a test on this very thing. He used several different things but the clear plastic won the temperature rating at approx 8-10* warmer than the uncovered soil.
avatar
quiltbea

Female Posts : 4690
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 75
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  Old Hippie on 3/6/2011, 2:37 pm

The fact that it does not deter the weeds is the down side of using the clear plastic. However, I have read that the good thing about that is that the weed seeds start growing sooner and have then expended their energy before you put your seeds and seedlings in. It does seem to work like that in my tomato bed.

The soil does get very dry because it sheds the rain so you do have to add water. Once you do that though, the plastic tends to keep it from evaporating so fast. Like lots of other things in the garden it is a bit of a balancing act but I do find the positives outweigh the negatives.

Gwynn
avatar
Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 66
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Warming up the beds

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum