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Author Topic: Black silage plastic for new beds  (Read 3235 times)

Cocomartinez

  • Joined Jan 2013
Black silage plastic for new beds
« on: October 14, 2015, 08:00:11 pm »
Can I use silage plastic, here usually white on one side and black on the other, to block out light on pasture to make new beds in the spring?  I have found the silage plastic available locally by the meter.

The vegetation is a mix of nettle, reeds, brambles and various pasture grasses - kind of a mess and a pain to dig.  It will have to be dug later for stones and to even out the surface anyway, but I´d like to save myself some effort if I can. 

Thank you!
Voss Electric Fence

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2015, 08:29:54 pm »
The plastic will kill the grasses but you may need other means for the reeds and brambles - maybe cut and clear the brambles first in case plastic is punctured? 
Hth



Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 12:54:27 am »
Isn't silage wrap quite thin?  Check it doesn't actually let light through - some black polythenes do.  Think of how silage wrap can be seen hanging off barbed wire fences like rows of prayer flags.

I think the brambles will just poke through polythene, even if you cut them to ground level.  Everything else will grow through the holes made.

Maybe if you covered it all with a thick layer of straw first, with the silage wrap over that, well held down against the wind, it could work, or at least give the grass a fright, and keep the soil warm so the earthworms can loosen it over the winter.  Or cover the area with thick cardboard, heavy duty from places selling things like white goods, then the straw, then the plastic.

But truly I think it would be easier just to dig out the brambles and nettles, and keep the rushes cut short, then cover with your plastic  :garden:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 08:03:25 pm »
If you're having to buy something why not get the proper thick membrane that can be reused afterwards.

I cleared a patch of rough grass with layered newspaper, strawy muck and  reused black membrane growing potatoes through it. 

Cocomartinez

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 09:34:35 pm »
If I were to dig out the nettles and the brambles it would be about 75% of what´s there.  And the other half has a fine crop of docks, lucky me.  I spent a lot of time hacking and digging brambles earlier in the summer and they´ve mostly come back, though smaller.  It´s disheartening.

I do have some cardboard. I suppose I could pile cut weeds, etc., on top but I´m afraid it will just reseed itself on top of the cardboard.  No muck available.

I also have questions about how effective the plastic will be.  Frankly, I´d prefer not to use plastic at all, but it comes in such lovely big dimensions I thought I´d ask.

Thank you for your thoughts!


clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 10:41:59 pm »
How about a load of cardboard and paper then get some big bales of rubbish straw that should be pretty cheap or free to lay out on top. Then contact your local tree surgeons and see if you can get a load of wood chip. Put that on top and leave for a year, topping up with wood chip whenever you can get it. At the end you will have a lot of lovely compost and the majority of your problem weeds will be gone. You can still plant into this mix by making a small hole in the wood chip and putting a bit of compost in. It's how I convert new areas to production.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

Cocomartinez

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 08:52:05 pm »
Was hoping to be able to plant before then, but could certainly find places to prep like that.  I did ask the local electrical team who were trimming trees over the lines if I could get some chipped wood and was told no.  I think a lot of chipped stuff is getting sold to make pellets now.

Oh well, baby steps.

Thanks again.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 04:23:17 pm »
Have you got a lawn?


My approach would be


Get a small hatchet and lop off the brambles just below where the lumpy bit meets the roots.  That normally stops them cold


Sprinkle on some lime - really it should be dolomitic limestone mixed 1:4 with gypsum.


Pile on ANYTHING which will rot down, weeds, strimmed stuff. lawnmowings, muck, newspapers, old straw, cardboard,etc etc Not sawdust as it will take too long


When it is heaped to about a couple of feet or more then put on your polythene.  If it is too thin then double it over. 


Peg and weight it down securely round the edges so light doesnt get in


Leave till late spring and you should find it rotted down and able to plant.  There may still be some deep rooted perennials, but the soil will be so soft from the worms it won't be too hard work to dig them out.


If you don't have time in the spring to work it cut holes and plant potatoes, encouraging the haulms to come through the polythene.  When you harvest you will automatically be turning the soil.  Digging is a needless waste of energy in proper system.



To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Calvadnack

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 06:32:38 pm »
Could I be controversial?  I've always dug veg beds the hard way and kept all chemicals away from pasture, but after being surrounded by dairy farms and their runoff I do wonder whether we make life so very hard for ourselves.  I'm not sure whether using glyphosate for your first year and therefore having the energy to actually enjoy your plot is such a very bad thing.  Will now duck!!

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 07:39:37 pm »
If you want to do it cheap - goto a local farmer and get all their old big bale wrappers - cover the ground and then cover in stones.

It wont stop unwanted stuff growing next year as that will/may takes years of beating back with love,  tendering and sweat with elbow grease.  But it will give you a blank canvas to plant in and then weed out.

Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Re: Black silage plastic for new beds
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2015, 12:57:10 pm »
Could I be controversial?......I'm not sure whether using glyphosate for your first year and therefore having the energy to actually enjoy your plot is such a very bad thing.  Will now duck!!
@Calvadnack - Controversial - not at all. 
Different folk have different feeling towards the use of such products - which is fair enough.
I would say that glyphosate is at least relatively quick if an area is needing to be cleared is a short space of time which will (as you say) allow you to actually enjoy your plot.

 

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