[Market-farming] Bio- Plastics vs. plastic mulch

Antoine Gendreau Turmel fermecouleedouce at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 07:32:45 EDT 2011

If I can add to Rob¹s comments,

I am also very satisfied with BioTelo on our farm. It is certified OK
Compost. It holds up pretty well, although it does start to tear down in
august, even sooner on some soils that are wetter or high in organic matter.
By that time tough, the tomatoes, cucumber and squash plants are usually
large enough to shade out most weeds.

But from my experience, the mulch is not totally gone by the next year. You
can still see small bits of black bioplastic on the soil. It is kind of
unsightly. But they do degrade within two years.

Another thing to keep in mind is to order just the quantity you need for one
season. It does not hold well in storage and it will break down very fast if
you try to use it the next year.

Antoine G Turmel

Ferme de la Coulée Douce
St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec, Canada

Le 15/03/11 22:14, « Rob Wallbridge » <rob at songberry.ca> a écrit :

> I¹d echo many of Rivka¹s comments and concerns. I¹ve had really good
> experience with BioTelo on my farm: it lays well with a mechanical layer (best
> on cool mornings on properly-prepared soil, with NO tension on the rollers),
> works well with a waterwheel transplanter, holds up fairly well, and is
> completely gone by the next year. It is approved for certified organic use
> here in Canada. Pricey, but no labour costs for removal and nothing to haul to
> the landfill. I¹ve never seen or heard of anybody using the Weed Guard Plus
> product with a mechanical layer and waterwheel transplanter ­ that¹s what
> concerns me most.
> Rob Wallbridge
> Songberry Organic Farm
> 24 Sixth Line, Bristol, QC J0X 1G0
> rob at songberry.ca <mailto:songberry at songberry.com>
> www.songberry.ca <http://www.songberry.ca>
> facebook: "Songberry Organic Farm"
> twitter: @songberryfarm
> From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Road's End Farm
> Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:53 PM
> To: farmersue at myfairpoint.net; Market Farming
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Bio- Plastics vs. plastic mulch
> On Mar 15, 2011, at 3:43 PM, Sue Wells wrote:
> Does anyone else have comments on Weed Guard Plus? Is this better than Bio
> tel?
> Sue
> Vermont
> My comments on all such materials:
> 1) Check that the specific material actually breaks down leaving no harmful
> residues. There has at one time or another been a lot of stuff on the market
> being sold as "biodegradable" that didn't actually meet such standards. -- If
> it's acceptable for use by organic certifying agencies, somebody outside the
> company selling it should have checked this. If it isn't, there are multiple
> possible reasons, but I'd recommend doing your own checking. And I wouldn't
> assume that because it's in a garden catalogue claiming it as "organic" that
> it does in fact meet current standards; I still sometimes see items so
> advertised that I know are not acceptable. When the USDA limited the use of
> the word for food products, they declined to limit it for companies selling
> garden and farm supplies.
> 2) Try the material out on a small scale in your own operation before relying
> on it. Speed of breakdown can vary considerably depending on weather, climate,
> soil type, and the microorganisms in the particular soil. I've had edges
> buried in soil break down almost immediately after planting, with the result
> that the wind picked the material up and flipped it over the top of young
> transplants, doing damage. This was some years ago, and may not apply to
> materials currently on the market; but you do need to check on your own place,
> in case the particular material won't last as long as you need it to, in your
> particular soil, for your particular uses. Also, some materials may be hard to
> lay with some equipment, or may need different adjustment of the equipment
> than you're used to, so that laying them properly may take practice.
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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