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Re: Community Garden

Hi, Folks!

>We are in the planning process of preparing our vegetable garden for 
>spring.  It has been suggested we put down the black plastic and then put 
>pine bark mulch on top of the plastic in order to hold moisture and control 

Adding organic matter is always a good idea, but that much pine could do
nasty things to your ph. I suggest you get the ACGA handouts on mulching
before you cover the entire garden with plastic.  Individual plots can be
done that way, but there is no reason to cover the entire garden.

At my community garden, we prefer to use newspaper and then cover it with
straw from a local boarding stable for horses.  This way, you don't have to
worry about garden clean-up at the end of the season -- everything just gets
tilled into the soil.

>What about using pre-emergent in a vegetable garden?  Is this safe to 
>apply?  We would appreciate any recommendations you might offer.

Well, as an organic grower, I don't think using a pre-emergent is such a
good idea.  You *could* cover the whole place with corn gluten meal, but
that will suppress the germination of *any* seeds, including the veggies
seeds.  If you're going to use seedlings, rather than seeds, then it is
possible, but I think mulching as needed with newspaper is a better deal --
it's cheap, it's biodegrable and it's a one-time application!

Just my thoughts. . .

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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