When to force weeds?


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Hey All,

I was not sure where to post this but this is an organic way to control weeds so I thought I would post here.

When one is trying to force weeds (I think it is called a stale seed bed as well) you place a dark tarp over the bed in order to add heat and force the weeds to germinate but not allow them to have sunlight. You can them use a variety of methods to kills the weed from propane torches to weeding my hand etc.

I was wondering though when do you put the tarp down? Should the snow still be on the ground? Do you want till the snow is off? I am assuming the soil should be moist but wasn't sure how early. I don't want to interfere with my early greens I am putting in but I also don't want to start too early and risk not germinating enough plants.

Thoughts?
 
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I understood that you want to do it after the soil begins to warm. From my understanding the idea is to heat the soil so that the weeds are scorched out. Doesn’t work in my area because the temperatures never get warm enough under the plastic. I do use multiple layers of cardboard and mulch/bark on top of that. The cardboard has been very successful for me For paths and new beds. The cardboard breaks down while killing everything under it except the toughest of weeds. In my case dandelions and bigger buttercups.

Plastic is not very environmentally friendly and I once had to re-landscape where someone had used it unsuccessfully. What do you do with plastic in large amounts? To top it off it begins to breakdown,crack and rip.

Here’s an article for what someone else thinks: Using black plastic to convert lawn to beds
 
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Thanks Jewell :) That link you sent is exactly what I was trying to describe. I just don't know how early to place it down.
 
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I once did something similar years ago when i was given the use of a piece of land that had been left for ages and had a lot of perennial weeds. I covered it in carpet I got from skips, then cut slits and planted potatoes. The carpet lets rain through, which is an advantage. The potatoes grew on the surface, I didn't get a huge crop, but I didn't have to dig much, and they were too much competition for the odd weed that came through the slit. I tried to use wool carpet, which rotted down (Apply a lighter, see if it stinks or melts) there was one bit that had an artificial thread running through it, but that raked out easily when the rest had rotted. If you have the time it leaves the land in good condition with the rotted weeds and carpet.
 
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Thanks Jewell :) That link you sent is exactly what I was trying to describe. I just don't know how early to place it down.
I believe you can put it down early. The earlier the better as the black plastic will warm the soil underneath earlier than surrounding areas if it is receiving full sun. If shaded this method is not successful in my opinion but others may differ. Be sure to anchor the plastic well otherwise wind will move the plastic and destroy the micro climate underneath.
 

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