Although weeding is considered one of the most important and necessary procedures for the care of plants in the garden, it is difficult to find someone who would enjoy the pleasure of this activity. Usually, on the contrary, it is because of weeding that many people who are beginning to get acquainted with gardening wisdom, quickly cool down to these activities and prefer to buy vegetables and berries on the market than to grow them themselves. However, scientific progress does not stand still, and recently materials have appeared that can greatly facilitate the work of the gardener and gardener and minimize the weed control procedure.
Covering material from weeds differs in a variety of both in its qualitative characteristics and in the field of its application.
Agrotextiles and its varieties
Those who have been engaged in gardening for a comparatively long period have probably heard, and, perhaps, experienced, in their own experience, what agrotextiles are for the vegetable garden. Despite its artificial origin, this material does not look like a film at all. It appeared quite a long time ago and opinions about its use among gardeners and gardeners are sometimes striking in their inconsistency. And the thing is that many even experienced gardeners do not always see the difference between its main varieties and often call the same different names. Or, on the contrary, completely different materials by their properties and purpose are called the same name. It is necessary to understand this confusion a little.
Agrotextiles, sometimes called geotextiles, are a common name for two varieties of covering material for beds made from polypropylene: non-woven material (agrofibre) and, in fact, fabric (agrofabric).
Historically, the first appeared agrofibre, the technology of its manufacture is called spunbond - in recent years, this name has become almost a common name for all materials with covering properties. The texture of the agrofiber reminds material with a lot of small round holes.
Agrofibre can be of different density and color: from the thinnest (17g / sq. M) to the densest (60g / sq. M). The colors are white, black and in recent years multi-colored appeared: black and white, red-yellow and others. Only multifunctional black agrofiber will be suitable as mulch.Important! The recently introduced bilateral black-and-white agrofibre can serve as a good option for areas with a hot climate in order to protect the root system of plants from overheating.
To do this, it must be laid in white on top.
Agrofabric is a woven material of high density (from 90 to 130 g / sq. M). Due to its woven base, its texture is an interlacing of threads forming cells. It happens most often in black, but it is also found green and brown.
Agrofabric has inherently large strength characteristics that are not comparable even with the most durable models of agrofibre. Therefore, they have slightly different applications. And at the price they are difficult to compare, of course, agrofabric will be several times more expensive than agrofibre. But as a covering material from weeds and agrofabric, and agrofibre, they do their job well, although there are some nuances here.
Agrofibre and its use from weeds
The fact is that in itself the technology of manufacturing spunbond or nonwoven material is used not only in agriculture. Such material is also widely used in light industry, in the manufacture of hygiene products, in the construction industry and furniture production. But these materials differ from agrofibre primarily because they lack an ultraviolet stabilizer, which means they are not intended for use when exposed to solar radiation. This does not affect the appearance of the material, but its price can be much cheaper.Tip! Do not buy agrofibre for use against weeds by weight, without information about the manufacturer and the availability of information about the UV stabilizer.
After all, this material of appropriate density (60g / sq. M) should last at least three years with you. And if he began to crumble by the end of the first season, it means that you obviously bought something wrong.
Agrofibre is most often used to cover the surface of the soil when growing strawberries.Comment! The average lifespan of this material coincides with the average period of strawberry growing in one place.
In the case of a strawberry plantation update, the material is discarded along with the old strawberry bushes that have served their day. Agrofibre is able to protect strawberries well from weeds, provided that it is not walked on. Otherwise, its mechanical strength may not be enough. But for the device tracks between the beds the best option would be just the use of agrofabric.
Agrofabric and its properties
Agrofabric with high strength, according to its other characteristics is little different from agrofibre. The use of both materials provides the following benefits for growing plants.
- The materials make it possible to warm up the soil in early spring much faster, which favorably affects the timing of the harvest. And for such heat-loving crops as peppers and eggplants, the use of covering agro materials allows planting seedlings earlier.
- Both varieties provide free air and moisture penetration. Therefore, during rains, beds are provided with full irrigation, but the ground beneath them remains loose - there is no need for loosening. It is only necessary to take into account that agrofabric, being heavier, may unnecessarily press down the tender root system of some plants, for example, strawberries.
- Both materials are reusable. But if the deadlines for agrofibre are 3-4 years, then agrofabric will easily live even 10-12 years.
- These materials do not provide a fertile environment for the development of fungal diseases. Slugs are also not interested in settling under them.
- The material from which both varieties of agrotextiles are made is not capable of emitting harmful elements with possible strong heating by solar radiation and does not react with any substances: soil, water, chemical compounds.
- Both materials perfectly protect from germination of annual weeds, and more or less well resist perennial rhizomatous plants. Agrofabric is more reliable and sustainable in this regard, so if you are in doubt about which material to choose, proceed from the fact that it is important for you to completely suppress all weeds.
There is another type of these materials called geotextiles, which also protects well against weeds. Under it usually mean especially strong varieties of agrofibre, with a density of more than 90 g / sq.m. According to its strength characteristics, geotextiles are located approximately in the middle between agrofibre and agrofabric.
Black weed film has only recently been the main material used by gardeners. Since it has excellent darkening properties, the weeds beneath it do not really survive. The disadvantage of this material is that since it does not pass water, the condensate accumulating under it causes the development of fungal diseases. In addition, it is usually enough for one season.Tip! In order not to change it every year, it is possible to purchase an armored film - it is stronger and it can even be used to lay paths between the beds.
Feedback on the use of black covering material from weeds is generally quite positive. Some disappointments are connected, apparently, with the choice of an unsuitable brand of material, not intended for use in agriculture.Anastasia, 32 years old, Tver For a long time I did not dare to grow strawberries after seeing enough, as my friends and relatives suffered with her. All spring and summer they have been disappearing in their beds. And then I heard about the new non-woven material and decided to try planting several beds. Everything turned out right the first time, and I'm so glad. Berry matures clean, very nice to collect it, and the weeds almost did not grow. I didn’t clean this material for the winter, it had a good wintering season and I hope this year there will be even more berries.
Oksana, 37 years old, Podolsk I, of course, heard about how some acquaintances mulch the land in the beds with strawberries, but the straw itself does not have the opportunity to get that amount of straw. Therefore, when I learned about the new breathing material in black, I decided to try it. I bought a spunbond density of 60 g / sq. and decided to cover them with a new bed with strawberries. Everything prepared as it should be, made holes and planted seedlings in them. Once I used a film to contain the weeds, but I didn’t really like it, because the weeds didn’t grow, but slugs settled under the film and ate most of the crop. Under this material, I did not notice anything like that. At first everything was just fine, but after a month the first weeds got into the holes, and for some reason, the strawberries even let out a mustache right under the spunbond. Then I understood my mistake and laid all the bushes with flat decorative stones and planks, thus pressing the spanbond to the ground. It became much better, and although some weeds were still trying to climb under the material, I threw everything over the cut grass, and until the fall weeds were no longer visible.Mikhail, 49 years old, Saratov When I first heard about spunbond, I became very interested in him, is it really possible to grow strawberries without painful weeding, and without using chemistry. I had never harbored my strawberries before, but spent almost all the time on plantings. She hid the newly developed plantation for the first time and by the end of the summer almost nothing was left of the material. The weeds have punched this fabric in all places, and in addition, she herself began to creep away. But I did not give up and studied in more detail all possible varieties. The following year I decided to try a material with the same name, but with a different texture. It cost more. This time I was lucky, I didn’t even remember about the weeds all season. When in the autumn I lifted the edge of the shelter, it was clear that they were trying to grow, but could not get through this material and all were pale on the ground.
A variety of modern covering materials can greatly facilitate the work of the gardener. The main thing is to choose the type of material that is most suitable for your specific conditions.