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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 12:50 pm 

Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 12:22 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Midlothian, Texas
:oops: Yesterday, I started a small garden around the bottom of one of our trees.... several plants that would attract butterflys and such. I bought some black plastic stuff to kill the grass and weeds underneath the flowers. I dug a spot, pulled grass and weeds, layed the plastic down, put some dirt on top, added LOTS of garden soil with a little enriched potting soil, THEN planted the flowers.

This morning, I surfed over to and found out that the plastic stuff isn't good to use! ACK! How do I remove it now without harming the plants? Was I supposed to cut big holes in the plastic to plant the flowers or will the roots break through the plastic? Should I just leave it there without any harm?

I'm trying to beautify our boring backyard and front yard a little at a time every payday. But I'm never had a green thumb, in fact, everything I've ever planted or tried to grow, just died.

My daughter bought a yellow rose bush but all we did for it was put some "Miracle Grow" type stuff on it and a little of that garden soil and potting soil.

I'm sorry I sound whinny but I'm frustrated. Is Mr. Garret's book "Organic Gardening for the 21st century" a good book to start with?

Thanks for any and all advice!

Leslie in Texas :)

I'm a Christian (which means a fallible person who follows Jesus Christ)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 6:59 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2003 8:21 am
Posts: 8

It sounds like you planted your flowers on top of the black plastic. If this is the case, I'd suggest you merely pull them back up and keep them moist and protected while you remove the black plastic and prepare your beds. A good thick layer of mulch after you plant (shredded hardwood or something comparable, not the big pine bark nuggets because they will float away in the rain) will do a great job of keeping weeds to a minimum. Just keep the mulch a little bit away from the crown of each plant.

Even if you did cut holes in the plastic or if the roots are actually underneath the plastic, you can dig up the plants without hurting them too much, especially since you just put them in. They haven't gotten established yet.

I used to have a completely non-green thumb, but then I started reading up and realized that it wasn't that I was a born plant killer, I just didn't know how NOT to kill them. Now I have several beautiful beds that bring joy to me and many others on my block!

Good luck with beautifying your yard!!

P.S. You'll get great advice from more knowledgeable folks than I, but hopefully this will help a little :)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:45 pm
Posts: 354
Location: San Antonio,Tx
Texas Leslie:

:oops: Shucks, I thought I was the only one who tried that 'oops' with the plastic.

I am going to pull mine up this weekend and just go back in with 1" of compost and 2-3" of Cedar mulch to control the weeds. I'll plant later after the soil returns to productivity.

You did not mention how deep your weed block material is. Pull back the soil and then use a garden rake to rip it out.

The weed block is still an OK material to use under decks or pathways as it will still allow the moisture through and minimize errosion.

[The Alamo City]

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