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plastic tarps mixed in with sand  RSS feed

 
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Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions with what to do with about .5 of an acre that is east facing, right next to a stream that is a water source, so no live stock. But.... the "soil" is mostly sand and has unfortunately disintegrating plastic tarps mixed in the sand.

Right now I have asparagus there but its not doing great....
 
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Sarah, why are there tarps there? Can you give a bit more history?
 
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I find pulling plastic out of soil to be meditative and satisfying.

Were you thinking of growing food only or would you like to incorporate some other use to the space?
 
sarah cedar
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Hi Thanks for the replys,

Miles- I bought the land with the tarps in place. The bit of land in question is sand sitting on top of rocks (this area is a very old landslide site) The tarps at one point held pockets of soil.

Matu - a lot of the tarps have broken down into tiny pinky nail size pieces of plastic. I am very open to other suggestions....

 
Posts: 1947
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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If they are not physically obstructing your cultivation of the land I would just leave them alone. They are essentially inert, but will continue breaking down slowly in your soil. We have some areas with old disintegrated landscaping black plastic - horrible fibrous stuff. I just pick up bits as and when they poke their heads up, but haven't made any special effort to remove them.

I'd be more concerned about the excessive sand - you'll need to add lots and lots of organic matter to start building soil. Look at getting hold of wood chip from local tree surgeons, and focus on amending one area really well, rather than adding small amounts over the whole area.

If you haven't already seen it take a look at the video 'back to Eden' which deals with using wood chips to garden over originally poor soil.

Mike
 
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