Like every cover crop, you need to mow or cut down hemp before it culminates into a seed. The idea is to thwart reseeding problems in the upcoming seasons. A prudent famer will use silage tarps for extinguishing this type of cover crops. Before you add the tarp to the concerned area, take your flair mower for mowing down the growing cover crop.
- After laying it flat, the tarp is read for adding the silage tarpaulin on the top. Depending on the garden’s size, the product will be 40*50” and 40*50” in length.
- The process is called occultation, which primarily means that the product is preventing the sun from going into the soil.
- Hence, the paucity of sunlight creeping into the soil paves the path for moist, dark, and warm environment in the organic vegetable garden.
- The concerned environment or soil condition facilitates the weed seed germination that quickly perish due to low sunlight.
- It also builds a dynamic soil texture and life with useful bacterial population and plenty of earthworms.
The main applications
Modern-day organic farmers are using premium salvaged tarps for myriad uses.
- Season extension is the main benefit. The pacific northwest has growing seasons, which you often determine by the content of moisture in the air. If the spring and winter is very wet, it can delay your agriculture work, working up beds and creatin cover crops.
- Lay silage tarps on the prepped beds during the fall to ensure they are clean and dry to support early plantings.
- Weed suppression is another use. You can apply transparent poly on the soil for solarizing it. It’s very effective in areas with egregious temperatures and extreme sunlight.
- In temperate climates, the process of solarization provides mixed results, primarily on perennial weeds.
- It creates ideal soil conditions for certain weeds like nut sedge that thrive on heat. Conversely, almost all weeds collapse under silage tarps due to deprivation of light.
- In many cases, you can create weed-free fields within 21 days. Perennial weeds or the ones with abundant underground reserves will definitely take longer.
- You also use silage tarps during the production of specialty crops. Some areas aren’t ideal for growing warm seasonal crops like cucurbits and solanums.
You can plant crops by making small holes/incisions in the silage tarps. It warms up the roots, bolstering their establishment.
Multiple benefits and flexibility
When you have abundant roots and they grow faster, there’s a bigger resistance to insects and pests, resulting in enhanced moisture and nutrition uptake. The yield becomes higher in this way.
You also use a heavy-duty tarp to incorporate crop residues. The environment under these quality silage tarps remains moist and warm, making it ideal for cultivating beneficial micro-organisms. These soil micro-organisms destroy the trash and enhance the level of mineralization in the soil.
You can also use the tarps for a passive incorporation of cover crops that you’ve already mowed down. You use the tarps to reduce water requirements for irrigation. The tarps offer tremendous soil protection against direct sunlight and wind, drying out the soil.