How to Use Plastic Mulch in Gardens

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Using plastic mulch in garden is something that will reflect back on the plants that you're growing. Use plastic mulch in gardens with help from an experienced garden and environmental professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Techniques
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Video Transcript

This is Mindy McIntosh-Shetter, and I’m going to show you how to use plastic mulch in gardens. Now, plastic mulch is a great technique to use, especially if you’re going to use it in a vegetable garden, because studies have been shown that tomatoes, as an example, really like the color red. The light hitting a red mulch will reflect back on a tomato plant and increase your yield. Other color mulches such as blue and yellow have the same effect on different plant material. If you’re going to use it in a flower bed, it could be used to cut down weeds. But, keep in mind: The plastic is not porous, and you will have to poke some holes in it for water percolation. Now, once you have chosen the bed that you want to use your plastic mulch in, you will need to roll out the mulch and cut off any excess that may remain on your row. You will then need to secure it to the ground. Now, this can be done with bricks, stones, landscape stakes, anything of weight. You want to make sure that your plastic is tight, whether you’re using it for a flower bed or a vegetable garden. The next step of the process is to cut an X in the locations in the plastic where you want to plant. You will then need to open up the X and plant as usually by digging your hole and placing your plant material inside the hole, or planting seed. Then, you will need to close up the X, and that’s a very important step in this process. Once you have that completed, you will then need to poke a few holes around in the plastic so that when it rains, water can percolate down through the plastic into the soil. Now, because plastic isn’t porous, you’re going to need to hand-water all your plants, and you will need to do that by opening the X, watering your plant material, and then making sure that you close that X up after watering.

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