Ask a Question forum: Tarp over soil to keep in moisture?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 477, Replies: 20 » Jump to the end
Los Angeles
Gozaru
Jun 16, 2017 6:02 PM CST
So yesterday I turned over a 4x8 ft plot in my backyard to help loosen it up for when I mix in my compost with it. The soil I have is baked hard clay soil void of all microbial life with no organic matter, but when I turned it over, I broke it up a lot into normal soil particle size and I watered it to keep it moist.
I live in Los Angeles and right now it gets really hot during the day and full sun for at least 9 hours
So I was hoping putting a white tarp over it would keep in the moisture in but my grandpa said that if I did do it, it would bake the soil and the moisture would evaporate. Who is right?
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Jun 16, 2017 6:30 PM CST
Your Grandpa. The solid tarp will indeed heat up the soil and cause the moisture to condense on the tarp where it will stay at the soil surface until it evaporates. Since you have hard clay soil, it would be better to work some organic matter into the soil (compost, manure, grass clippings, leaves, etc) and then use mulch over the amended soil as you plant.

This article is on the home page today. https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

You will find many useful hints and help on soil preparation here https://garden.org/search/inde...

and amending soil here https://garden.org/search/inde...

Welcome to NGA @Gozaru Welcome!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Jun 16, 2017 11:23 PM CST
I read a study about cooking compost piles (by covering them with plastic) to kill salmonella. What they found was that the salmonella did die but so did all the beneficial bacteria.

Then, when the pile was uncovered, salmonella was the first bacteria to grow back. So, by covering your soil with plastic, you will be killing all your good bacteria and maybe introducing bacteria that you don't want, such as salmonella.

Listen to Grandpa. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 2:16 PM CST
@Gozaru,
Belated Welcome!
Are you comfortable navigating this site? There is so much to cover here, all types of gardening going on here!
If you stay on this thread we will be better able to help you achieve your goal. Many of us here to help with good info.
Did you have a chance to read @Moonhowl`s reference info?
@Daisyl is right on the money!
ONLY cover soil to KILL everything!
There are times when the `tarp` fix is appropriate, and this is not that time.
To get started you're right to add lots of different soil amendments.
What do you want to grow in your new garden?
I`m in zone 5b.Which zone will your garden be in?

Tisha








Simple on a Schedule
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 24, 2017 2:31 PM CST
And then....

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 2:55 PM CST
@Daisyl,
Should we move to the other or stay here?
One is less confusing for me and maybe @Gozaru too.
Which was started first and which the repost?
Will do what ever the correct procedure is.
Thanks.

Tisha
Simple on a Schedule
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 24, 2017 3:17 PM CST
I posted the repost and you responded to the original thread. We are currently in the orginal thread started last June - the repost started a couple days ago.

Its only important that we are all working in one thread or the other - it doesn't matter which one.

Mostly what it means is that @Gozaru wasn't happy with the answers or lost the original thread.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 3:32 PM CST
@DaisyI,
So should we stay here?

Tisha
Simple on a Schedule
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 24, 2017 5:05 PM CST
Yes, lets stay here. I will post a link in the other thread to steer people here. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 5:23 PM CST
@DaisyI,
Can you help The thread "Rubber tree help" in Ask a Question forum ? Whistling

Tisha
Simple on a Schedule
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Dec 24, 2017 5:46 PM CST
It's exactly the same question but six months apart, so is the "yesterday" that it was dug over in June, or both June and December? The original post was in June, so 9 hours of sun doesn't seem right, but nor does 9 hours of hot sun for December Confused
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 24, 2017 6:01 PM CST
Tisha said:@DaisyI,
Can you help The thread "Rubber tree help" in Ask a Question forum ? Whistling

Tisha


I have never grown a Rubber plant in my life. Sorry Tisha. Sighing!

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 6:35 PM CST
@DaisyI,
Just a wet feet problem.
Thanks.

Tisha
Simple on a Schedule
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Dec 24, 2017 10:10 PM CST
sooby said:It's exactly the same question but six months apart, so is the "yesterday" that it was dug over in June, or both June and December? The original post was in June, so 9 hours of sun doesn't seem right, but nor does 9 hours of hot sun for December Confused


It's California, more specifically, LA. It's been really dry there and yes, you can have just under 9 hours of daylight in December. The average high temp. is around 60 F. But the original post was done in June and it can get pretty hot then, depending on where in LA you are. Parts of LA are on the coast and cooler, and parts are in "The Valley" and are warmer.

June would see about 14 hours of daylight in LA. Again, it can get very hot depending on where you are. I grew up there and we had times when it was around 90 F.
AKA Joey.

Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Tisha
Dec 24, 2017 10:47 PM CST
@Gozaru,
Did you have a chance to read @Moonhowl`s reference info?
What do you want to grow in your new garden?
Can you give us an up date on your garden?

Tisha
Simple on a Schedule
Name: Super Dave Osbourne
Planet Earth
Image
SuperDaveOsbourne
Dec 24, 2017 11:33 PM CST
Aerobic vs Anaerobic composting or gardening.
If you cover completely, you will likely kill most things, good and bad.
As mentioned that is not necessarily what you are after. If you are
looking to add value/nutrition to your soil, amend the heck out of it
with high temp regularly turned and if at all possible organic/non-toxic
materials. Composting on the site is simple, but you will need loads
of materials. Helpful is what I have done, and that is modular ~5'x~5'x12"
and stack up to 3 of these. Turn the material regularly, water when needed
and you can put a tarp on the top or part of the top to help exothermic
heat to be somewhat retained. O2 is critical for a healthy hot fast going
pile. This in turn can be used and turned in to your soil. That is where
I would start, and in 2-3 months time during spring or mild winter, you should
be ready for growing once composting and maturation of the material has
set for 15-30 days. Loads to read on, but the fundamentals is turn stuff
into the soil, and the microbes and the earth's natural temps during the right
seasons will do the work for you. I'm lazy, so I just turn waste/extra veggies
from organic gardens directly into the soil and bury it. I let nature do its work
for me other than amending it into a hole.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Dec 25, 2017 5:43 AM CST
joannakat said:

It's California, more specifically, LA. It's been really dry there and yes, you can have just under 9 hours of daylight in December. The average high temp. is around 60 F. But the original post was done in June and it can get pretty hot then, depending on where in LA you are. Parts of LA are on the coast and cooler, and parts are in "The Valley" and are warmer.

June would see about 14 hours of daylight in LA. Again, it can get very hot depending on where you are. I grew up there and we had times when it was around 90 F.


What the OP said was at least 9 hours of "hot" sun rather than nine hours of daylight. That's why I was querying the question. So the post makes some sense for June, but not December when it was reposted, again saying the bed was dug "yesterday". I'm just thinking this December post may have been a mistake, an accidental re-post of the June question.

[Last edited by sooby - Dec 25, 2017 5:46 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1608065 (17)
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Dec 25, 2017 6:38 AM CST
sooby said:

What the OP said was at least 9 hours of "hot" sun rather than nine hours of daylight. That's why I was querying the question. So the post makes some sense for June, but not December when it was reposted, again saying the bed was dug "yesterday". I'm just thinking this December post may have been a mistake, an accidental re-post of the June question.



See DaisyI's post of Dec. 24th, above.
AKA Joey.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Dec 25, 2017 6:44 AM CST
joannakat said:

See DaisyI's post of Dec. 24th, above.


Which one Smiling How does that affect what I wrote? There were two separate threads with the same title and exactly the same wording, one posted in June and one in December by the OP. Both said the bed was dug "yesterday". It looks like the other thread has been removed so now we only have one, but I guess I'm still missing something? I was just thinking the OP reposted the June post in December in error.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Dec 25, 2017 7:35 AM CST
sooby said:

Which one Smiling How does that affect what I wrote? There were two separate threads with the same title and exactly the same wording, one posted in June and one in December by the OP. Both said the bed was dug "yesterday". It looks like the other thread has been removed so now we only have one, but I guess I'm still missing something? I was just thinking the OP reposted the June post in December in error.


She wrote, "I posted the repost and you responded to the original thread. We are currently in the orginal thread started last June - the repost started a couple days ago.

Its only important that we are all working in one thread or the other - it doesn't matter which one.

Mostly what it means is that @Gozaru wasn't happy with the answers or lost the original thread." There are a couple that follow, explaining further. It explains the repost and the dates, thus answering your question. The original post was by someone else.
AKA Joey.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Salvia and Crocosmia in late June"