How To Use Tarps & Fabrics

All right so this tarps are what I like to call appropriate technology they’re so simple and they doesn’t really see much to it but this is a real game-changer in market gardening for a variety of reasons one we talked about back there and we talked about weed prevention and mitigation the great thing about a tarp is as far as weeds and the end prepping soil goes you can use them in two different ways so right we’re standing on right here are some beds that have been shaped you can kind of see the shape of the bed so when you’ve got an old an old crop that was finished you can just tarp it and let time do the work that’s what I love about this technology is you know it really reduces the amount of work you do that tarp over there so they’re also a great way to prep new land so you might have some pasture and you can go run out some silage tarps and leave those there for a few months even leave them there for the winter when you pull that off in the spring and we can go pull it off later and take a look and you’ll see the ground is that much more friable one thing about right now which is super cool anybody guess what another great reason why these would be good right now in this context of today dry so we’re in so that this is an awesome thing about these tarps is they allow you to get in the ground earlier so in climates where you get a lot of wint winter precipitation sometimes like the warmer climates like in Canada for us on the west coast the Lower Mainland is warmer than everywhere else but it’s piss and rain all the time so people think that they can farm a lot longer because they have a warmer season but you can’t because the soils always wet so you can go in Tarpon area in the in the fall and then you can pull that tarp off and then you’ve got dry soil that you can work with right away like you can see how difficult it is running those machines in wet soil so this is one of the biggest advantages to using tarps is that it keeps your soil dry and then you can come in and you don’t have to it’s not a mess and then you can come in prep your beds and then tarp it back so let’s say right now we were going to prep up this area and we knew that we had a winter rain coming we could open it up a segment of it tail up our beds prepare our beds shape them and then just cover it back up keep those beds ready to go for that for the next part of the season so the thing that that I love about these the most is just weed mitigation and prevention over time that you can keep them in place and what happens is if the soil is kind of wet like what I’ll do is I’ll open it up and let’s do it right now let’s let’s open a bit of this right now this this will expedite the weeds because it create if you have moisture in there it’s going to create a warm and humid environment that will encourage the weed growth so if you leave a tarp on long enough the weeds will just they’ll just burn off because they’ll suffocate they’ll try to reach for light they won’t get light but in combination with a point of the flame wieder which we’ll look at in the greenhouse it’s a very effective way to have weed free soil so you’ll prep up your beds you’ll shape your beds just like we have here and if you don’t have what I do is if there’s no rain all actually water the beds I’ll put the sprinkler on them soak them in real good tarp it up depending on the time of the year you know it could be if it’s if it’s a warmer time of year it might be two weeks and you’ll have tons of weed germination you’ll take this off and you’ll see all these little baby weeds like this you can come in with a flame leader burn those off really quick and then you can plant right away but if you want to let time do the work you just leave the tarp on for longer so this really is as part of it it’s kind of a three-fold system with low till or no-till using a tarp and a flame leader those three things in combination really really reduces your weed pressure to the point where if you do it right you won’t have weeds won’t be an issue for you and so you can see here Ray’s got two different we’ve got two different types of tarps in a way we’ve got the tarp the silage tarp which you guys I think farmers friend you guys selling these now right Jonathan so these are these are the most ideal tarp to use because they’re long and they’re they’re lightweight they’re easy to move around and but the landscape fabric this was a game changer for me and I started using this a couple years ago and when I was consulting for Rey I I started I got him using it and it’s changed the game for them because they were pulling so many weeds all the time now they’re not doing any we’ll do a demo I’ll show you guys in the greenhouse later on how I make these but this is part of that strategy for us on our farm that we don’t have exposed soil anywhere so if there’s a perimeter area like Ray’s got here it’s got fabric around it if there’s a bed with transplants in it we’re using fabrics obviously with direct seeding crops that doesn’t work but we keep the soil covered all the time so if beds are prepped and they’re going to sit bare for a while we cover them up because if you leave these beds like they are now winter rain comes in washes away your topsoil that’s erosion in organic farming we want buy a lot we want biology so we want to maintain our topsoil so the tarp in the fabric is all part of that keeping that soil structure in place so this is simple stuff it’s cheap some people don’t like the way it looks because it’s plastic but you know what when it comes summer and you’re not out there pulling weeds you’re gonna you’re gonna really appreciate it then yeah if I have a bunch of landscape staples could I use them to hold these guys I don’t like to staple the tarps I prefer to use row bags so you just get these things fill them with sand or river rock or gravel I prefer row bags I staple my fabrics but I think row bags are better for this and if you get a harsh wind that comes in it’ll just tear up this tarp anyways you want to preserve these because you want to you know use them and move them back and forth all the time and I’m going to add one practical context to this like down here so we’re able to get crops in the south earlier on so what I did is like early February we have like this week of dry weather which is pretty typical in this area and then it just starts raining again late February so I was able to work the ground got the bench prepped and then I covered it and then in early March whenever I had you know Caleb ready to go I just you know uncover uncovered it and just planted it you know and so I have a question with that I started using tarps this fall and my worried about using them in the spring is it going to get hot enough underneath that part how long do you have to leave it in the spring to get it to do its pose so the point in the spring is not for weeds it’s for keeping your soil dry so you can keep that things in excellent and you’re not only you’re not how bad will ya yeah it’ll it’ll stay colder longer yeah so the key is obviously brand new tarps is best because you know there’s holes and cows get out and they you know whatever but it’s very you know a lot of you know we’ve always struggled with getting up crops in on time in the spring because of rain this man we just every week it was on schedule never missed a day it was it was a game changer got a strategy with the tarps is if you have permanent blocks on your farm so I was just at JM 40 A’s new farm called lay firm ducats of Tom it’s a massive amazing Market Garden and they have the farm divided up into ten bed blocks so they have to talk tarps on each side and so they just roll up up and they just leave them on the side so you’ll have these permanent tarps that are just there so whenever a group of beds are done you just pull the tarps over so you’re not having to move parts back and forth you just leave them at the blocks you just kind of pack them up and keep them on there on the sides and center point now that these beds are actually prepped we’re going to see direct seat carriage next week and these full beds and so that’s kind of why why we want to keep it dry we’re experience for really early early cares and hoping that they’ll germinate before any of the weeds will sow a carrot strategy if you have really weedy soil would be to prep your beds have the soil be wet cover it up that’ll encourage any weeds like we saw in there pull it so what Ray might do when he does this is what is what I would do is I’d pull that tarp off flame it right away so you get the double lead kill action with the tarp with time and then the flame wheter plant your carrots and then six seven days later come back and flame it again on top of the carrots beforehand for the red somewhere in the red the radishes germinate two or three days faster than carrots well more than not at this time of year but that’s that’s the idea there you can really reduce your weed pressure because anybody who’s growing carrots and weedy soil knows that it sucks if you get a bunch of weeds coming through that those carrots are right off just forget about it just mow mode in yeah just just start on it again yep what I often do if that happens is if I if I and I’ve done this a few times where I’ve screwed it up or you know somehow the timing got mixed up weeds in germinate you planted your carrots carrots came up looking okay but then in a week later huge crop of weeds I just come in and flame the whole thing and start again flame the carrots flame the weeds and just plant right again Adam have you had experience with that tine Wiener with carrots when those carrots come up they’re about this big right so we’ve got the tine weeding rakes that we we sell now at $okay there’s a 21 inch model all right carrots are this tall and a lot of other crops you know at that stage you can run right over them with that blindly right the carrots are already got a really long uproot they’re not going to come out and some of them you’re going to cover up even mmm but they’ll come through okay so it’s really really fast and really efficient Wow so again if you’re not convinced by the right stuff I’m beauties today there you go we go anybody else anybody else step right up step right on Peter so we want to go I think we’re ready harvester what we’re gonna do next we’re gonna we’re going to do um the kefir o’er that the atom has is gonna rock one frypot so we have to add it okay and then we’ll the entire stir you.

The Heavy Duty Silver Tarps Have 100% sun blockage and work great to suppress and kill weeds.