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  1. #11
    DFB
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    Nicely done...looks like the same product we use at the greenhouse for table liners and ground cover. Stuff last forever!

  2. #12
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    Quote Originally Posted by DFB View Post
    I've grown commercially in 3 different states here in New England and never had a moisture retention issues using plastic. University level publication always point out the four major benefits of using plasticulture are warming the soil, weed control, increased crop yield, and moisture retention. Normally and when applied correctly more often than not when I slide my hand between the plastic and the soil it there will be condensation underneath the plastic. Most issues facing those grower using plastic usually lie with timing the condition of the soil when putting it down too dry some times but more often times too wet. Especially in the spring.

    It can cause issues for growers in extremly hot climates though. Actually heating the ground temp too much . Researchers are always experimenting with other colors than black, like silver and white to reflect excessive heat and also find different colors seem to increase yields on certain crops.

    http://extension.umass.edu/landscape...ed_plastic.pdf

    Of course it is not naturally biodegradble and has to eventually be removed and disposed of somehow. I have tried double cropping on plastic film, planting on the same piece two season in a row. Seems to work ok the only thing is I see with that is there really isnt any other way to improve the current soil fertilization for the new season except by side dressing the rows or a liquid application directly to the planting.


    I've been working with plastic in the field since the late 80's. Some of larger units can lay a drip at the same time and some also have built in bed shapers. There are bio degradable roll type mulches available now They cost more than conventional plastic and arent as strong. With my little unit I can lay out 2000 feet of plastic for less than the price of 12 bales of straw.

    Organic mulches are terrific mediums for for soil building though. Thats the whole theory behind cover cropping. The biggest problem using straw in a garden I have experienced beyond the expense of course, is it provides a haven for mice and other small rodents. It provideds them a place to hide and they can wreck havoc with ripining crops, especially tomatoes.
    Here in Pa. where I'm at it gets really dry from July 1 thru about Sept. 15th, and always windy(I think that's helping to dry the ground out). I never installed drip irrigation, because we don't have the water supply to do it.

    I've tried everything from Newspapers(need dirt to hold them down, and weeds grow in the dirt piles), to weed fabric(must use a mulch on top or weeds grow right thru it), to grass clippings(which mat down causing water runoff and plant choking), to plastic(which dried my ground out, and heated the ground too much for certain plants), to straw(which is expensive, but keeps all weeds down, and is biodegradeable), to cultivating(which also leads to water loss in the ground, Due to lack of rain and constant windy conditions.

    I plant a cover crop of Rye for the winter, cut it down in the spring with a weedeater and use that for straw mulch on my garden as well. That will cover almost half of my garden area when harvested, so I don't need to buy as many bales. The good part about using rye, is that it will keep small seeds(IE: weeds) from germinating, when used as a mulch. The bad part is that you must start your seedlings yourself, then transplant because the rye affects small food seeds as well.

    While I haven't done it commercially, my experiences with home gardens covering a wide array of different crops has taught me a lot over the past 30 years.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Ted Summey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    I agree withLS355SS that fall nd early spring roto tilling is a good practice for getting the weeds before they start. I also spray to control weeds and grasses. A mop attachment that connects to a sprayer can allow application of Glyphosate (Roundup) without spraying in the garden once it s established. You pump up the sprayer, pull the trigger and the chemical oozes out of a sponge type applicator. You just wipe the glyphosate on the weeds with the sponge. It decreases the chance of hitting the wife's prize tomatoes.

    Plastic is a great way to manage the weeds and conserve water. Even with the biodegradable products there always seems to be film residue which isn't harmful but it is unsightly. It does eventually go away. For those not willing to let it biodegrade, plastic presents an additional cleanup task. Plastic combined with drip irrigation is highly productive and allows application of liquid fertilizer with watering. Plastic installation equipment is hard to justify cost wise for me based on my garden size vs cost for start up. I have a friend that used a plastic mulching system that shaped the bed and laid drip tape. It was cost prohibitive for me to even consider the plastic only implement.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden-image.jpg  

  4. #14
    DFB
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    I always say a well managed home garden can easily outperform a commercial operation. Experience is the best teacher and I look foward to anyone sharing more of theirs.

    The older I get the more I lean toward container gardening. There are a couple landscape companies were I can source decent field grade growing containers. When I lived in Maine the soil on the property there was so heavy with clay if it wasnt cold and saturated it dried out and turned as hard as concrete. I was so frustrated trying to farm that had a plan once to set dozens of large pots in the garden just to grow my tomatoes in.

    If anybodys interested here's how they do it in the parking lot at the urban storefont the business I now work for maintains.

    Nope no weeds

    We also do the same thing inside greenhouses with tomatoes
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden-parking-lot.jpg  

  5. #15
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    Quote Originally Posted by DFB View Post
    I always say a well managed home garden can easily outperform a commercial operation. Experience is the best teacher and I look foward to anyone sharing more of theirs.

    The older I get the more I lean toward container gardening. There are a couple landscape companies were I can source decent field grade growing containers. When I lived in Maine the soil on the property there was so heavy with clay if it wasnt cold and saturated it dried out and turned as hard as concrete. I was so frustrated trying to farm that had a plan once to set dozens of large pots in the garden just to grow my tomatoes in.

    If anybodys interested here's how they do it in the parking lot at the urban storefont the business I now work for maintains.

    Nope no weeds

    We also do the same thing inside greenhouses with tomatoes
    I'm always interested in new ways of gardening. I've also been looking at 'container planting', because there are some things that I just can't get to grow in my garden.


    I've also noticed in the seed catalogs where they are designing new seeds just for container gardens such as corn(which is very interesting indeed). But then I need to look at quantity of the harvest/amount of investment involed before attempting the idea(I'm still watching the feedback though)

    My BIL is going to try the 'buckwheat' trick this year to see if he can rejuvenate some worn out ground.

    EDIT: I should have explained the 'buckwheat trick':

    Plant 2 consecutive plantings of buckwheat in one year. Cut and till the first crop just as it is starting to go to seed. Replant buckwheat and try to time it so that the frost will kill it before it seeds. This procedure is supposed to make the ground good for planting any vegetable the following year. I believe the study was done by Penn State University.
    Last edited by Don87; 01-27-2013 at 12:23 PM.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    The original poster didn't mention where they live, but while living in Ft. Worth, Texas I used mulch and soaker hoses to minimize weeds. Mulch helped keep weed seeds from gaining a foothold and lack of water between rows helped kill off the rest. I usually only needed to pull weeds around the plants themselves.

    If you've got a larger food area to clear, I'd go a bit more organic than Roundup. The concentrated vinegar works well killing weeds and corn gluten works well as a pre-emergent.

    I'm not impressed the weedblock cloth. It does block the weeds, but I pulled the cloth off an area that had been covered for several years and the ground underneath was cracked. If water was getting through the cloth effectively I would not have expected to see cracks.

  7. #17
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    If anyone is interested in using plastic mulches, here is some interesting reading: Plastic Mulches — Plasticulture — Penn State Extension

    Penn State University is one of the leaders in different agricultural trials.

    Harris seeds is selling colored mulches, but they aren't cheap and it's only 1mil(basically good for one season is all): Plastic Mulch & Paper Mulch | Harris Seeds

    Robert Marvel isn't listing prices on their site anymore: Mulch, drip irrigation, RobertMarvel.com selling the highest quality plastic mulch film
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  8. #18
    DFB
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    SCYTHE or Pelargonic acid...the organic herbicide. I have a jug of that around somewhere. Probably the best alternative choice to Gylphosate products


    I also experienced similar results with weed block fabrics. Seems like they aren't very water permeable at all. I'm thinking its best application is in landscaping. As a ground fabric under mulched products like ground bark for deep rooted perenial type plants like shrubs and bushes. I have a product in my shed I have never found use for. Its a roll of perforated plastic which has dozens of pinholes (breathable? to let water in?) Wouldn't even know if its still manufactured.

  9. #19
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    Quote Originally Posted by DFB View Post
    SCYTHE or Pelargonic acid...the organic herbicide. I have a jug of that around somewhere. Probably the best alternative choice to Gylphosate products


    I also experienced similar results with weed block fabrics. Seems like they aren't very water permeable at all. I'm thinking its best application is in landscaping. As a ground fabric under mulched products like ground bark for deep rooted perenial type plants like shrubs and bushes. I have a product in my shed I have never found use for. Its a roll of perforated plastic which has dozens of pinholes (breathable? to let water in?) Wouldn't even know if its still manufactured.
    Yes, it is still manufactured. It's listed on one of the sites in my last post. If it isn't covered heavily with mulch, weeds will grow right thru the holes(I've used it also). I've also used the 'fibrous' weed cloth, and the rubberized perforated weed barrier(this stuff was absolutely horrible to remove once the mulch thinned out with age and weeds started coming thru), All must be covered heavily with a mulch of some sort.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  10. #20
    DFB
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    Default Re: Kubota L3400 Setting Up a Garden

    Yea just seen that in Harris catalog Don, Thanks...good links you provided.


    Holland Transplanter is where I got my equipment

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