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Re: Solarizing in Western PA

> Don't use clear plastic. I won't get hot enough underneath to kill the
> weeds, just hot enough to make them grow like crazy. The ground isn't
> supposed to get as hot under black plastic, but the seeds won't get any
> light to germinate.
> Leave it on most of the summer. It'll take a few months to cook.
> This is local advice for eastern New York. Your mileage may vary, but I
> suspect not by much.

Here in Texas we use clear plastic.  There are two ways of "weeding"
using plastic:  1) prevent germination by blocking light, which can be
done with landscape fabric, mulch, etc, as well as plastic, or 2)
killing the seeds by frying them.

In Texas we have no problem getting our soil temps WAY up there using
*clear* plastic, not black.  Heck, last summer I almost burned my feet
walking on 4" of MULCH (dark brown shredded hardwood).  I can't imagine
how hot it'd get with no mulch and plastic to boot.

Getting rid of the seeds is the best way, if you can manage it, because
some seeds can lie dormant for many years.  Unless you are constantly
vigilant, you'll have to repeat the process if you simply prevent them
from germinating in a given season.
Amy Moseley Rupp
amyr@mpd.tandem.com, Austin, TX, zone 8b
Jill O. *Trades
Mistress O. {}

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