Who really enjoys pulling weeds from a garden? There is a very
efficient way to grow a garden without having all of the weeds.
It involves the use of black plastic as a covering over the
Minimal weeds. You will have very few weeds in your garden.
The only place they could possibly grow is at the base of
each plant and if they do, they are easily removed. You are
no longer watering long furrows that soon fill up with
Less Water. You will use a lot less water because you are
not filling up furrows with water and letting it soak in
and grow weeds.
Warm ground in early spring. The black plastic actually
will keep the ground warm during the early spring when you
first place your plants out. But, as the season progresses
and the plants grow, they will shade the plastic near them
and keep the roots from becoming too hot.
Work in the garden whenever you want to. Since the plastic
will allow you to walk in the garden anytime, like right
after a rain storm or after watering, you have fulltime
access to your garden to work or harvest whenever you
Minimal time and equipment is needed for this garden. It is
not necessary to till the ground because you work with the
area only in the specific 10 inch circle to be planted.
Materials and Tools
Roll(s) of 6 mil black plastic of sufficient size to cover
your entire garden. Where multiple rolls will be used,
allow for about 12 inches of overlap. Do not use clear
plastic because it will let the sunlight through and weeds
will grow beneath the plastic.
Tires, soil, rocks, bricks, pipes and boards can
be used to hold the plastic down. You can usually get free
used tires from your local tire store. Do not use too small
of a rock or they will get mixed in with the garden soil.
Dirt dug up from the planting holes can be used to spread
along the edges to keep the plastic down but some will be
needed to put back into the hole, mixed with rich mulch.
A carpet knife.
Garden plants and seeds as desired.
Two weeks before planting time, spray the area with a
weed/grass killer to get rid of what is already there.
If you think that you may have a lot of weed seeds in the
garden, water it for a couple of weeks to let the seeds
germinate and then spray it with a weed killer.
Stretch the plastic over the entire garden, overlapping
rows of plastic where necessary.
Use tires, rocks, bricks, pipes, boards or soil along
the edges and the overlapped joints to hold the plastic
down. See below:
Everywhere you want to plant a plant, using a carpet knife
or sharp tool, cut a square by cutting an "X" about 12" in
length in the plastic, then you can fold the plastic down
into the hole and this will help hold the plastic
down. See below:
Dig a hole about 10"-12" deep and that wide and replace
half of the dirt mixing it with rich mulch. See
Mix the mulch and dirt thoroughly. With the added mulch to
the dirt, notice the contrast of the soil in the hole and
the dirt dug from the hole in the upper left corner. The
soil in the hole is rich in comparison. See
- Place the plant in the ground. See below:
Let the flaps of the plastic fold down into the hole so the
soil secures the plastic, not allowing wind to get under
and whip it around.
Water each plant from a bucket of water that contains root
stimulant. Make sure to soak each plant thoroughly.
If you need to plant a long row of plants, like corn, cut a
strip of plastic about 6 inches wide for the length of the
row. Then plant the seeds as usual. Be sure to line the
edges of the strip with the soil that you dig up to prevent
the wind from blowing the plastic.
If you plan to water by soaker hoses, feed them under the
plastic and make sure that they are near each plant. Do not
put soaker hoses on top of the plastic as this will only
cause the water to remain on top of the plastic and not
soak into the ground, where it is needed.
If you plan to water by sprinklers, set them up so that
they cover the entire garden, or can be moved to provide
No matter which watering method you use, run a sprinkler on
the plastic for a while so you can determine where the
puddles will be.
Then get a nail and poke holes where each puddle is until
there are no puddles left. From then on, any water that
falls on the plastic will immediately drip through to the
soil and not puddle up on top of the plastic.
Where desired, place tomato cages and they too will help
hold the plastic down.
At the end of the season, remove and discard the plastic
and let the moisture and air of the off season replenish
your garden’s nutrients.
If digging the hole for each plant is a big chore because you
have lots of holes to dig or the ground is hard, consider
renting a motorized post-hole digger. This has a small engine
sitting on top of a pair of handlebars that are attached to a
long auger that is about 10" to 12" in diameter. It takes two
people about 30 seconds to produce a nice hole about 15" deep.
This huge hole will hold water and nutrients and tests have
shown that the increased crop yield will more than pay for
the rental, not to mention saving the wear and tear on the body