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Old 11-06-2022, 10:18 AM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
67,399 posts, read 50,832,965 times
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I'm removing some shrubbery in front of my house, intending to put down landscape fabric and then stone or mulch on top. I read somewhere that putting down black tarps for a while will kill much potential growth before removing it and putting down the fabric.

True? If so, would the more readily available blue tarps work as well? I'd much prefer doing something like this to using a bunch of toxic chemicals.
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Old 11-06-2022, 02:24 PM
 
Location: on the wind
19,516 posts, read 13,148,327 times
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Part of the reason why black plastic is suggested is because it absorbs heat in addition to blocking light. A blue tarp may not cook the soil or unwanted seedlings as well.
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Old 11-06-2022, 02:42 PM
 
Location: B.C., Canada
13,577 posts, read 12,375,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Part of the reason why black plastic is suggested is because it absorbs heat in addition to blocking light. A blue tarp may not cook the soil or unwanted seedlings as well.
OP, the above is your answer in a nutshell. ^^^ Black cooks the soil and blocks light better than blue.

Some diffuse light will still go through blue tarp so you can end up with long, lanky growth crawling across the ground under a blue tarp. If you can't find a black tarp use some layers of black plastic on top of the soil and then cover that black plastic with your blue tarp or with sheets of cardboard for added weight and protection and light blockage.

.
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Old 11-06-2022, 07:30 PM
 
Location: The Garden State
1,269 posts, read 2,835,310 times
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I am planning on doing the same project. I had a pile of firewood that rotted and it left a fiberous root system. Actually I am not even 100% sure if the root system was caused by the wood pile or by a local invasive tree called the "Tree of Heaven". But either way, so far I have used a shovel and my garden weasel to remove the underground roots but it seems like a losing battle.

I have an extra roll of roofing tar paper which is pretty thick that I plan to use and also 3 mil black plastic.

I plan to transplant some false cypress bushes there.

I also tired an experimental small patch (3 x 5) to grow wild flowers. The wild flowers came out good but I still got many weeds. I read that the ground should be covered for 90 days before planting. But in hindsight I believe that is a bare minimum. I plan to use the ground covers for at least 150 days this time.

Side note: my neighbor swears by black plastic in his tomato garden for the heat draw as stated above by Parnassia.
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:04 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
67,399 posts, read 50,832,965 times
Reputation: 38447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone28 View Post
I am planning on doing the same project. I had a pile of firewood that rotted and it left a fiberous root system. Actually I am not even 100% sure if the root system was caused by the wood pile or by a local invasive tree called the "Tree of Heaven". But either way, so far I have used a shovel and my garden weasel to remove the underground roots but it seems like a losing battle.

I have an extra roll of roofing tar paper which is pretty thick that I plan to use and also 3 mil black plastic.

I plan to transplant some false cypress bushes there.

I also tired an experimental small patch (3 x 5) to grow wild flowers. The wild flowers came out good but I still got many weeds. I read that the ground should be covered for 90 days before planting. But in hindsight I believe that is a bare minimum. I plan to use the ground covers for at least 150 days this time.

Side note: my neighbor swears by black plastic in his tomato garden for the heat draw as stated above by Parnassia.


It's funny, where I am I've successfully grown tomatoes in the backyard a few times but as soon as the full heat of July arrived the tomatoes were goners.
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
8,350 posts, read 4,354,098 times
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Tomatoes can handle quite a bit of heat, BUT, they're going to require more frequent watering.
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Old 11-07-2022, 02:25 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
67,399 posts, read 50,832,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
Tomatoes can handle quite a bit of heat, BUT, they're going to require more frequent watering.

I did water more frequently to no avail. I've also heard the same from a number of others in my small (61 homes) development. I always thought they could handle a lot of heat too but maybe I also needed to choose a different variety?
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Old 11-15-2022, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
8,350 posts, read 4,354,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burdell View Post
I did water more frequently to no avail. I've also heard the same from a number of others in my small (61 homes) development. I always thought they could handle a lot of heat too but maybe I also needed to choose a different variety?
Variety could be a factor. I think an even larger factor, could be water retention or subterranean clay/loam/sand. (Believe it or not, tomato plant roots can go 6 feet down, in perfect conditions.)

Also, water pH & temperature. Also, mineral content in water.

Try Burpee seeds next time "Champion" variety. I've always had good luck with this product. (It's my "go to" when I want to make an addictive salsa for a party or gtg.)
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:22 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
67,399 posts, read 50,832,965 times
Reputation: 38447
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
Variety could be a factor. I think an even larger factor, could be water retention or subterranean clay/loam/sand. (Believe it or not, tomato plant roots can go 6 feet down, in perfect conditions.)

Also, water pH & temperature. Also, mineral content in water.

Try Burpee seeds next time "Champion" variety. I've always had good luck with this product. (It's my "go to" when I want to make an addictive salsa for a party or gtg.)

Thanks for the reply!

I have to say the one year I was really being diligent I was getting excellent results up 'til around July and eating BLTs like they were going out of style and then came July. I do have very sandy soil that I tried to enrich before planting, maybe water retention was poor.

I do get lucky at times and find people in the area selling homegrown tomatoes very reasonably so next year is up in the air at the moment.
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