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Burnside Allotments : Black plastic
BlackPlastic.jpg (59239 bytes) Paul Jones using black plastic on his plot at Burnside.

Black plastic stops weeds by blocking sunlight, leaving the soil in excellent condition.

Without light, weed seeds germinate but soon die.

Perennial weed roots in the soil search for the sun, but soon use up their energy.

Small drainage holes are made to allow rain water to enter the soil. Moisture loss due to evaporation is greatly reduced, so there is less need for water.

Holes are cut  just big enough for large seedlings such as courgettes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and tomatoes, to be transplanted after the danger of frost has passed in early June.

Black plastic creates a warmer enviroment and enhances the growth of heat loving plants.

Black plastic needs to be weighted down at the edges to prevent the wind from lifting and tearing the sheets (the edges can be buried). Additional weights are needed in the centre of each sheet until the plants have grown larger.

Black plastic can be left in position for a year, and re-used in another position the year afterwards.  When re-used for 2 or 3 years, the cost of black plastic is low compared to the value of the extra vegetable produce and the time saved weeding and watering.

Latest update 03/01/01