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Professional Farming Technique Question

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by reguy on January 11, 2006 01:56 PM

I've recently noticed that some of the local farm plots around me are growing rows upon rows of strawberries. Pretty much all of them are using a black covering. I'm guessing this is simply landscaping fabric, but I'm not sure. (hard to stop the car and look closely when traffic is moving at 60 mph...)

A few months prior, I've driven by these same fields, and the fields were also covered, but some with black covering and others with clear covering. I'm guessing this is plastic sheeting to solarize the soil.

I'm thinking of solarizing my soil as well. But my question is this: Is the solarizing plastic covering kept on and used as landscaping cover for the strawberries? Won't keeping the solarizing plastic on kill the plants you actually want to grow?

Has anybody used or know anything about solarizing the soil and using landscaping fabric (or whatever professional farmers use?)

Steve [Wink]
by kabuti on January 12, 2006 10:56 AM
Hi, around here they grow lots of strawberries. Some formers do solarize the soil. as for the plastic which the berries are planted thru on the hills, this is usually to warm the soil in the spring & also since the soil here is sandy it keeps the water from evaporating so fast not tomention inhibiting weeds. When the temps get hot enought to solarize the soil the berries are done for anyhow as they are a cooler weather crop.
by Wizzard on January 12, 2006 09:57 PM
the "you pick" places here leave the plastic on all year. in addition to the other reasons, it helps keep the weeds down, but more importantly, it helps keep the strawberries from producing runners (they cant root through the plastic) and if the plant is not using its energy to root runners, it will use it on leaves or beries, making a bigger harvest.

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Wizzards pics
by reguy on January 12, 2006 11:50 PM
Thanks for the responses guys! there is a method to this! [thinker]

I never thought about the plastic blocking the strawberry runners!

I bought a roll of 4 mil clear plastic and I'll see how it goes with the strawberries. I might remove the platic during the summer as it can get into the upper 80's to the 100's here in SoCal. (or I just may keep the plastic on and solarize it then.) [Wink]


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