Here’s a stock photo of what look like a squash or melon planted in black plastic mulch, most likely with drip irrigation line underneath the plastic.
We have a bed-maker/mulch/driptape layer that we pull behind the tractor to pull up those raised beds, lay driptape, cover with mulch and throw dirt up on edges to keep the plastic from blowing up.
Here’s one I took when we grew CBD/floral industrial hemp, but the recommendations were to lay the plastic with the white side up (why, IDK, but it’s how hemp is done) .
I’m still using this piece of equipment to pull up raided beds/rows for the vegetable garden, but have not been putting down plastic or driptape(pretty much required, if you put down plastic.
However… as bad as the weeds have been in my garden this year… I may try using plastic next year!
That looked to me like black plastic sheets.
When someone said “mulch”, my mind goes to shredded mulch sold in bags at Home Depot.
Woven mesh ground fabric is sold by most greenhouse suppliers. I purchase rolls 15 feet wide by 300 feet long to grow watermelons, cucumbers, and cantaloupes. Mortonproducts.com sells it if you want to take a look. Shawfabrics.com makes it if you want to see a manufacturer’s website.
Yes, it’s old silage plastic sheeting that we use, black side up.
It’s been a year or two, but I think that black/white plastic mulch was like 1.5-2mil, in rolls 4 ft wide X 4000 ft. Lifting & removing after the growing season - with all the weeds/grass that had grown up in the middles and in holes poked by deer and other critters cavorting across it was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had to deal with… the major cause for me not wanting to use it, even in that little 1/3 acre garden.
Better than having weeds eat up the whole patch all year though. The few weeds I get are easy to pull out. And the melons grow large and are easy to harvest. Keeps the plant level air temperature higher than the areas with straw mulch. Don’t know if the woven fabric would have the same effect.
Mine is large sheets left over from silage piles. Always use what I have before spending more. Have to poke holes for drainage and I use melon cradles for the Athena and Minnesota midgets to prevent rot and bug damage.
The advantage of woven fabric is that rain goes through it. I usually get 5 years out of a sheet. I notice you figured out that sheets of plastic can be blown up by the wind. I too put t-posts to hold it down.
One huge note, I do NOT plant pumpkins on plastic. Squash bugs love to hide under the plastic and feed on the stem where it goes in the ground. Since they are under the plastic, it is almost impossible to spray and kill them. They can easily decimate the plants. Watermelons, cucumbers, and cantaloupes all work very well on plastic.
A picture of watermelons from the local supermarket in Costa DelSol, if I’m not staying at a hotel, I would purchase one, they look very good.
Eating on a perfect 25 pound Janosik tonight. Had planned on posting pics of my 2 big 30 pound Sweetglo but they were both over ripe. The tendril method didn’t work on them this year. I have another 6 smaller later ones with green tendrils I harvested, hopefully those will be good.
Beautiful looking watermelon!
Possibly to reflect light back onto the plants and maximize solar gain. Your soil looks very nice by the way…
Thank you; I do have good clay soils here. And, the areas in the photos I posted are probably some of the poorest soil on the farm - though the garden spot likely has high K & P from 25 years of winter confinement and hay/DDG feeding of the beef herd on that paddock
While I’m away, my melons are ripen, my daughter will pick them in. Not sure when I get back they still be ok or not.
Now I don’t know if this watermelon is ready or not, what do you think?
I thought this was supposed a yellow fleshed polish variety called Janosik, but whatever it is is delicious. Maybe I mixed up tags. It’s the first watermelon I have successfully grown without critters getting it, and it is GOOD.
Looks like sugar baby or Blacktail mountain possibly.
Have had better luck with the smaller Sweetglo’s I’ve cut open. Outstanding flavor. Have to start cutting the big ones earlier next season.
Probably blacktail mountain, I had some seedlings of that. Guess i mixed them up!
My daughter cut one of the melons from our compost, she said nice texture, not too sweet.