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Old September 20, 2011   #19
JackE
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Woodville, Texas
Posts: 520
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We have never used plastic mulch, Steve, but we were planning on buying a mulch layer this year. I've tried laying that stuff by hand - never again! :-) We do have ample volunteer labor for hoeing and cultivating - we also us hi-tech herbicides that target specific weeds with little or no toxicity.

From what I read, we need to lay that tape real close to the seed line because water goes straight down in our sandy soil. That will work-out okay, because we normally "lay by" the new plants, as soon as they're big enough, with a half sweep plow - thus burying the weed seedlings and giving the plants a chance to form a shade canopy. This will bury the tape under a couple inches of dirt, thus protecting it from solar damage. We run the pathways once or twice with selective herbicides, but we never spray it "over the top", even if the product is labelled for that. We use chemicals judiciously and sparingly - but we are not "purists."

I was in the contracting business for 50 years - all I do now is, frankly, "play farmer" and spend money. I'm 75 and don't have too long to go. :-) The last thing I need is a job. :-) That's a good idea, though. I'm going to mention it to a younger friend who has a degree in agronomy and manages a 5000 acre cattle ranch next door to me. This year, he is running those huge "walking" sprinklers, from enormous 12 inch wells! You wouldn't believe the amount of water they throw out! I'm worried about him sucking down our water table.

Jack

J

Last edited by JackE; September 20, 2011 at 07:08 PM. Reason: to add additional comments
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