Avoid Weed Problems with Ground Cover Fabric!
A common problem in agriculture is weed control in crops. Here we’ll explain about one of the tools used to keep these plants under control: ground cover fabric.
Weeds, by definition, are plants that grow and reproduce very rapidly in places that we don’t want them, like in our crops. The problem that these weeds cause is that they aggressively compete with crops for resources. They impede proper growth. Generally, farmers and gardeners use herbicides to maintain their crops weed free, especially vegetable growers who are most affected by this problem. Ground cover fabric is an alternative solution to this problem.
Weeds among crops are one of the main problems in agriculture. They damage desired plants by robbing them of the nutrients they need.
Ground cover fabric, also known as weed barrier cloth, is a geotextile product, usually made from polypropylene treated so that it is resistant to UV rays. Its principle function is to impede the growth of weeds. By covering the soil with ground cover, undesired plants are deprived of sunlight so that as a prudential amount of time goes by weeds are basically eliminated as they sprout, wither and die.
How Do You Use Ground Cover Fabric?
Ground cover fabric is sold in standard and personalized sizes depending on the piece of land where the crop will be planted. Once you have the ground cover fabric that you want, you should prepare the land. We suggest that it should be uniform. It shouldn’t be too irregular since when you put down the ground cover fabric, there will be dips where water could collect. In addition to damaging the fabric if it isn’t cleaned, the excessive moisture in that part of the soil could produce fungus or other pathogens. Another recommended step for preparing the land is to dig furrows in the perimeter of the place where the ground cover fabric will be placed. This prevents external weeds from invading the area where the crop is growing. You should keep in mind to mark off the area based on the size of the ground cover fabric. If you want to be extra attentive in the care for your crop, you can add manure and compost over the ground, making sure that your soil will be in perfect condition before your plants start growing.
Once the piece of land is prepared, you continue by placing the ground cover fabric over the area you don’t want to be covered with weeds, spreading the fabric well. From this point on there are two options: you can put the plants in pots on top of the fabric (this is common in greenhouses) or you can mark the places where you will put the desired plants and cut the section where they go. Be careful! The size of the hole you cut should be the size of the adult plant! Many ground cover fabrics come with the holes already cut where the plants will grow. Finally, the fabric is fixed down along the edges by putting something heavy (like a rock) over them. And voila! This simple procedure will bring you many benefits.
On the other hand, and this is important, you need to keep in mind the weather conditions on the day that you are installing the ground cover fabric. Good weather will help you put down the fabric with no trouble. Some gardeners and farmer suggest putting down ground cover fabric at the end of winter or the beginning of spring thus making sure that no weeds grow from the very start.
What are the pros of this material? Are there any cons?
MALAHIERBA ground cover fabric is a favorite among vegetable gardeners and farmers.
Here we’ll provide a list of some of the benefits that using ground cover fabric will give you and some of the possible consequences, in addition to how to handle them.
- Avoid the growth of weeds that absorb nutrients meant for your crops by denying them sunlight.
- Ground cover fabric is made from polypropylene, which is also used to make thermic blankets for crops. This material is porous so it lets water and air through. It doesn’t cause any problems when you water your crops so your soil won’t get dry. It also allows for ventilation.
- This fabric raises the ground temperature which accelerates the decomposition of organic material rapidly generating nutrient rich soil. In addition to being used by the crop plants, this soil creates a favorable environment for worms which improve the aeration of the soil and the quality of the compost.
- The gardener or farmer avoids direct contact with the soil thus maintaining it in tact and preventing accidental contamination of the soil by pathogens like fungus.
- Make it easier for people and equipment like wheelbarrows to move through the area since it provides a uniform surface. You avoid creating muddy or swampy places with excessive moisture.
- Since it is an alternative method to combat weeds, you avoid using herbicides that can be harmful to the soil and even to the health of the farmer or gardener.
Putting down ground cover for crops in the open air.
- Getting rid of weeds with ground cover is slower than with herbicides. Of course, you can plant a crop while the fabric is doing its job; you just need to be a little patient.
- Depending on the type of fabric, it could be less porous than needed and this could lead to your soil becoming overly dry due to lack of water and air. You must be careful when you pick the required fabric. Less porous fabrics can be used when potted plants will be set on top of it.
- Some weeds are more aggressive than other and can even poke through cutting the fabric. In this case, you need to keep an eye out for these weeds.
Even though there are a few disadvantages, they are problems with simple solutions. Ground cover fabric has shown itself to be a great alternative in weed control. It is also simple to use. It is worth the trouble to stop using harmful herbicides and try out this innovative tool and see the benefits for yourself.