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Thread: soil solarization

  1. #1
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    soil solarization

    I have decided to use this method for half my big garden. Has anyone tried it before? I know it will put that part out of commission until fall, but it will take me that long to clean and plant the other half.
    The directions said to use clear plastic. Wouldn't it do better to use dark plastic for more heat absorbtion?
    just had some plants delivered for the nursery. The ex must have ordered them and forgot to change the address. Now I am sad. I miss my greenhouse so much. I am having a hard time dealing with the loss of all I had worked so hard for. I will miss selling my plants and working in them.
    tennessee sue

  2. #2
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    Sue,

    For solarization the clear is better as the heat will build much faster, condensation will form and fall back onto the weeds which, in turn, will be "cooked" by the sun shinning through the plastic. The soil will also warm faster and deeper. You could speed up a smaller area by covering it with black plastic or an old blacket/tarp in the evening to hold in the days' heat and really cook things down. In a couple of weeks remove the plastic, till the area as deeply as you can and re-cover with the clear plastic and let it cook some more, again covering it with a dark tarp in the eveniings.

    Read that somewhere once upon a time ago. It's amazing what little tidbits stick in your brain, yet you can't remeber what you had for supper two nights ago!

    Good to see you posting again. So, you gonna keep the plants? (Hope he's already paid for them!)

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    Definitely, clear is better if you want the extreme temps to clear nemotodes and other bacterial and soil borm problems.

    Unfortunately, I tried it for weeds, and most of mine must love the heat and humidity. It did help some though.

    I have a small area on the west side of my veggie garden that I lined with thick layers of newspaper a couple of years ago. Then I covered it with black plastic. It's still like that. I haven't removed it to see wheather anything is growing under it. It's not a wide area, so probably still has some weeds from spreading roots.

    I have the area that is covered with the outer material of the old, above ground swimming pool. It has been in two areas for over a year now. I love it for a potted plant area, but I am anxious to see what's under it. It's where I plan to plant bulbs, daylilies, etc. It is never under water.

    Let us know how it does for you, Sue, and I hope that someday soon, you can have your very own nursery.

    My heart breaks because I do understand how badly you must miss it.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
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    As far as I can tell, it only got down to 42 degrees.

    There was a light frost on the top of the cars, none on the wind shields.

    I forgot to open the greenhouse, and I was afraid that the high of 70 degrees would make it too hot, but it was only 85 in there.

    The brugs on the west fence (low area) have burned and melted leaves, but the stems look fine. I knew that I should have covered those.

    There is one more forecast for slightly colder on March 24. I'll have to keep my eyes open for that one.

    Come on, winter! Make up your mind!!!!

    At the least, this is another opportunity for me to observe my small microclimates.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
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    Sue, Help?

    Honest to goodness, my mind went blank with the name on this one. I know starts with a 't' and it grows wild here.

    I tried to harvest seeds, but never get the timing correct.

    Still, it is pretty, especially this time of the year.
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
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    Rebecca , Being the kind honest person I am I sent the plants to him. Wasn't anything I wanted.LOL

    Ann that is one of my favorite plants. It is spider wort or trinity plant. I love the blue and the white blooms like crazy. I had one that was white with a violet colored center. There is another one with golden leaves and blue blooms called Sweet Kate. Fortunately I did manage to get a pot of it home.
    I keep thinking I will not try to go back in the business again then I am spying out plants that I want to take cuttings from, and seeds I want to buy or bum and today I have been on the Internet looking at plants. The only thing I know to do with so many plants is to sell them.
    I really don't have enough room here to do much but I could manage a few plants to sell. I did it before but on a much smaller scale than we did together. At least I could grow what I want how I want.
    I knew when I left that I would miss it but I had to get out with my sanity. I usually don't want to talk about it too much but it really threw me off when those plants came today and I remembered all the exciement of a new shioment of plants.

    Thanks for being such good friends and understanding.
    tennessee sue

  7. #7
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    Sue,

    When I manage to get your purple lady banks dug up and boxed, please remind me to send you some of these blue one. Blue is all that I have, and they are so very pretty, so I rarely dig one up and just let it grow. I have a large clump, and that is the one that I is pictured as now blooming.

    Surely, it would ship with the leaves cut like a daylily? Do you think?

    Maybe, you could start something small scale and grow it on from there? I know you must miss the business terribly.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
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    Sue,

    Sometimes we do things because we have to, but not necessarily because we want to, be it getting out of a bad situation or starting a small plant business.

    I kicked my ex to the curb way back in 1975 and have never looked back. I've always given away or sold surplus plants in yard sales, now I am finding it just may be the way I have to make my living. Which is going to be very interesting since I live in the city and on rental property w/o a lot of room left and certainly none for expansion. I am hoping my neighor grants me permission to use even more of his unused garden space this year (still haven't heard from him). I'm going to be selling most of my older registered Dalylillies on the Lily Auction, but hope to still have enough of the not quite so old ones that I can line a few out for increase. IF I get to use the neighbor's land. I'll also be dividing everything I can to put over in the "Nursery Garden" to either grow to resale size or as a holding area. I will be concentraiting on Daylilies, Hosta and true Lilies.

    The problem is that I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle all the physical labor that will be involved since the arthritis has gotten so much worse in the last year or so. And I'll still be at the mercer of someone else since I'll be using someone else's land to grow my "crops" on as well as a landlord to have to deal with. But, I don't have muck of a choice, really.

    I'll probably have some sort of a "Plant/Yard Sale" this summer and thin out my huge collection of house plants since hauling them all up and down the stairs too and from the basement is getting to be more than I can handle as well as care for properly.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that even if you don't have the room you had before or a greenhouse, you ought to be able to grow enough of the types of plants you want and like and have more than enough to sell. It'
    s something you really enjoy so why not have a little "hobby business"

    I will be keeping mine as mail order only with only and occasional "local sale". I know I won't make a lot of money at it, but if it's enough to pay the bills it will be a tremendous help. Besides some income is better than none and hopefully it will be enough to keep me going until I qualify for full SS benefits and then I'll still have my business to fill the gaps for as long as I am able bodied enough to garden.


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  9. #9
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    Sue, what you have done before, you can do again. Believe me, I know. Start small and hold "yard sales" for a beginning. You can always expand.

    There was a lady in Mt.Vernon, WA who held two sales per year. She developed quite a mailing list and sent out postcards for her sales. Some friends joined her with some crafts (not crocheted potholders) some antiques, many perennials, shrubs, trees, etc. It was a festive time for all and developed over several years, but turned out to be something the regulars looked forward to each year.

    I have the ambition to do something like that here. As such, I have been growing plants ala "free plants" as well as perennials, etc. I have not had my first sale yet--perhaps next spring. Thanks to the building/remodel this winter, the front yard is still too big a mess for this year. I will, however, do some major landscaping out front, so that next spring will be pretty.

    I encourage you to follow your heart. In any split with another, there is about a year of craziness when the brain and heart don't function too well. Your heart is crying out to be involved again. Not necessarily with another person, that may come or not, but with your passion which is clearly plants, etc.

    I'm with you--I need to sell some. So give it a go, Sue, start small, and see where it leads. Save your profits and build a "cattle panel" greenhouse in the interim. Easy to do and it will work.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  10. #10
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    Rebecca, I am excited to "hear" the plans for the future in your voice. I know you will do very well in your plant endeavors. Save a tiny bit from each sale so that you can hire a highschool kid (or that "SIL") to schlep the plants up or down the basement steps.

    I understand about the arthritis. I take the glucosamine, chondritin, MSM regime and try to ignor the rest. They say exercise helps the arthritis, but I have yet to determine just who or what it helps. Part of the problem is advancing old age. Can't do much about that. Again, exercise helps. Keeping things manageable is the most important part. Do you have a little "grasshopper" rolling seat to get around on? I like mine so much that I got a fancy metal one from Lee Valley this year. It sure beats groveling around on the dirt and then trying to get up. Oy vey!!

    If your neighbor won't share any more yard, see if there isn't a vacant lot nearby or even better, a city-owned lot that needs "fixing". Also, look into the possibility of getting a garden patch ("P-Patch") if such exist in your area. I read a magazine article recently about a man who "farms" vacant lots in his city. Sure, he has to move around from time to time, and he does. He has a rep now, so people call him when they have vacant property. I wish I could remember where I read it. It was recently.

    Anyway--more power to you.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  11. #11
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    Sandi- I went to a Lee Valley website and saw kneelers with handles . Is that the rolling grasshopper ? Gee, the handles are great ! I've got arthritis and osteoporosis and I'm not quite 50 !
    Recently had some weird thing with the side of the knee which forces me to avoid a seering pain by having to take a cheerleader pose when I kneel down to garden(can bend one knee but have to extend the whole other leg out to the side)--Yeh, it looks pretty funny--Go Team !
    If that isn't the rolling grasshoper, please let me know......
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  12. #12
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    Sandi,

    I have something similar to it but can't use it. It's too close to the ground and my knees can't take it. I have been known to sit on an up-turned 5-gallon pickle bucket and that works fairly well. Seems to be just the right heigth for me, good distance for the knees and not so high I can't easily reach the ground.


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  13. #13
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    Thank you all for the encouragement and inspiration. I too have arthritis but try to ignore it most of the time.
    I have plenty of pots ready to fill. Now must get dirt and mulch for the beds. I have an area picked for a work area and one to keep potted up plants. Actually one for shade and one for sun.
    Right now I have my daughter here to help me a little. She works and goes to school,too.
    I did it before without a greenhouse and that is what I plan to do now for a while. I might find room for a small greenhouse later on. I plan on working on the basement this fall so I can start seeds there next spring like I used to.
    I plan to order some plants this fall especially wildflowers and pot them up for next spring. I will start a lot of seed this spring for next year. Then next Feb. I can start my herbs indoors. I will do herbs,wildflowers and perennials. Not enough room for trees or shrubs. I might do a few flowering shrubs to sell small but can't handle them too big. Will only do what I can do from cuttings.
    Those are the plans for now anyway. We'll see how it goes.
    tennessee sue

  14. #14
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    That beautiful pflower you pictured above has many names Ann. Some call it Wodow's tears. The Latin is Tradescantia,
    It took me a while to remember it.
    tennessee sue

  15. #15
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    Well, let's see if this works:

    http://www.leevalley.com/garden/Page...921&cat=2,2120

    The thing is called a rolling cart and is cat # PS210. It is higher than others, therefore easier to get up from.

    I, too, get into some spectacular contortions in the act of gardening. One thing that has been helpful, if I keep up with it, is the collinear hoe of Eliot Coleman fame. I can stand and deal with the weeds as if I were sweeping. Sure have to keep up with it, though. I like that I can get very close to a plant using the narrow blade. Need to keep it sharp, however.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

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