The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Solarization details

Solarization with thicker plastic?

I wanted to check if our thick solarization plastic failure from last month had done any more weed killing with an extra month of cooking.

There were even more weeds than 4 weeks ago.

It seems like the thicker plastic lets enough light through to function like a greenhouse instead of a weed killer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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The white plastic might let more light through than the black plastic, giving the weeds enough light to photosynthesize.

Also the white plastic reflects much more of the visible light, while the black plastic absorbs visible light and emits it as heat. Therefore I would suspect that the temperature under the black plastic will get significantly higher.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Aug 19 18:01:30 2017

I am in the process of plastic killing out back yard. I have been watching what you have done and also Curtis stone(YouTube, urban market gardener.) I am using any plastic I can cheaply find. Free thin plastic off the side of the road, 6 mil left overs from the greenhouse, and purchased 3 mil black painters plastic. I feel like the cheap thin stuff defiantly cooks things faster. The 6 mil clear cooks it but not frying pan cooks. And the black is working but not quite cooking. I pulled some of it back and it is still trying to grow. Especially the bind weed. I plan to leave it on all through the winter and come spring do some kind of shallow till. The trick is finding enough weighty items to hold down all the edges. Do you have bind weed? Do you think your method does any lasting damage to bind weed? It is such a hardy and deep growing plant, other than herbicide, and many repeated applications, I am not sure what to do. I hope 8 months under clear and black plastic will work.

Comment by Kathleen Sat Aug 19 23:08:46 2017

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