Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Plastic and Planting

It's that time of year...the time when everyone is wildly planting summer vegetables and melons.

We plant all of our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, okra and some of our summer squash, cucumbers, and pickles on raised bed covered with black plastic.

Why do this?

Well...just like black clothing attracts heat so does black plastic.  It warms the soil underneath it and speeds production along. Weed management is a big one.  Keeping weeds down around the plants helps keep good air flow going down the rows which means less bugs and disease.  By using a raised bed it also helps with over-all plant well being, especially valuable in times of heavy rain.  And on the flip side in times of little rain the drip tape that is underneath the plastic brings water directly to where it is needed.  Less water waste.

Here's a little sneak peak into laying plastic and using the water wheel planter....

Plastic Laying:

One person (me in this case) adjusts the plastic and drip tape and holds it while the tractor takes off.  There are wheels that push the plastic down while dirt is pushed up making a nice raised bed. Notice the yellow arm out to the right...it acts as a marker for where the next row will be.

black plastic in the field

Water Wheel Planting:

The Water Wheel Planter has a wheel with spikes that are adjusted to how far apart the plants need to be spaced.  As the wheel turns it drops out water that feeds from two tanks on the top of the planter and the plant is placed in the hole left by the spikes.  Pretty neat!


  1. I always wondered how the plastic mulch was perfectly tucked into the ground on the edges of the beds. Those beds are always so perfectly shaped. I want to let you know how much we appreciate the fact that you are the grower AND the person on the other side of the table at the markets. I get so annoyed when I ask what I think is a simple question like, "what variety tomato is this" or "were these mushrooms grown on logs", and I get a blank look or a response like, "I don't know, it's someone else's farm". When we buy from you, we are always greeted by a big smile and you can answer every question that we have about the variety of plant and how it was grown, etc. We appreciate that and will continue to support you for reasons like this. Thank you. You must be running full speed all day every day.

    Btw what are you planting next?

    1. Thanks so much! I try my best...my mom will be helping out at a few markets but she's in the know about what we're growing. She's a good partner in crime. We just finished planting heirloom melons...hoping for goo

    2. Oops! **good weather! No unconventional sign yet...but the signs for each item will be labeled with a UC if it's unconventional.

  2. BTW where's the Unconventional Produce banner??????????????? I thought that I might see one last weekend.


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