[Market-farming] Mulches

Wiediger, Alison awiediger at HART.k12.ky.us
Tue Nov 16 09:25:59 EST 2004

We have used Planter's Paper, a black paper mulch.  Its main problem in our
high tunnels is shrinkage - as much as 5-6 feet in 90 feet.  That can cover
plants and kill them.  Outdoors, with sides covered, it might not do that -
but I've heard that it's hard to lay - tears easily.  We used a new product
this year made from recycled paper out of NC.  It tore easily, even laying
by hand, was much heavier, a light gray in color, but didn't shrink nearly
as much.  Its main problem is its weight.  I'm not sure a mulch layer would
handle its bulk either - a roll is about 14-15" in diameter and cannot be
handled by one person.  Both break down very nicely - so much nicer than
trying to get plastic out of the field!

We did use photodegradable plastic once, years ago.  It did degrade, but
just into smaller pieces of plastic - and the plastic stays in your soil in
some form, literally forever.   It may have been improved in the interim.

I wish they'd get the paper "right".  Perhaps they will eventually.

Alison Wiediger, Au Naturel Farm

> ----------
> From: 	SaladG at aol.com[SMTP:SaladG at aol.com]
> Reply To: 	Market Farming
> Sent: 	Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:16 AM
> To: 	market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: 	[Market-farming] Mulches
> <<File: ATT08405.txt>>
> Are any of you using any paper mulches of photodegradable mulches for
> growing?  What has been the results of these products in your area?  
> We did a study using different color plastic's to see the differnt affects
> on aphids this year,however being as wet a year we had no aphids that I
> could find so maybe next year we will be able to see some differnt
> results.  Used chome and silver both, both raised excellent crops of
> differnt products that we grew on them.  Would still like to have a paper
> product that will degrade after a years use.  The plastic mulch is really
> a lot of work in the fall removing it and getting it to the recycler, this
> year we used about 24,000 ft and that makes a big pile when all gathered
> up. However I won't try growing without it, it will almost double our
> production and ease of picking.
> Phil from Iowa

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