Black plastic covering

I plan to use black plastic covering for my peppers this summer in zone 5 . How do i do it . How does it get watered and fertilized.
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That is one hell of a good question. The answer to the watering, I presume, is drip irrigation under the plastic. Alternatively, you could leave a small spot uncovered where you could add water, and ORGANIC fish emulsion.
As for the fertilizer, prep in advance. <http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/Research/chili.html Chicken manure (three to four tons per acre) is custom applied a week or more prior to listing. 1 acre = 43,560 sq. ft. 100 sq.ft. = 0.0022956841 acre. 8,000#/acre = 18.37#chicken manure/100 sq.ft.
http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/articles/vegetables/peppers . html When should you fertilize your peppers? Take your choice -- either before planting or throughout the growing season.
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During the season, since side dressing is out, use ORGANIC fish emulsion.
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I should have mentioned "Lasagna" gardening. <http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gard ening.aspx> <http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnaga rden.htm> It is also no till (no digging). (1)Pick where you want your garden. (2) Evenly spread your amendments over the area, N-P-K and such. (3) Lay newspaper or cardboard over the area, to block weeds. (4) Spread mulch over newspaper; leaves, straw, or, my favorite, alfalfa, also known as lucerne. (5) Water the area thoroughly. (6) Spread out your plastic, burying the edges. (7) Wait at least 2 weeks, make holes in plastic and plant. Again, bury any exposed edges of plastic.
I would probably make the holes in the plastic 6" to 12" in diameter, to allow for watering and fertilizing. When I tried this last time. My plants were too small, and if they touched the plastic, they got fried by the heat, so only transplant plants that are 7" tall or taller.

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My wife uses that and builds what she calls "barrows." These are long ridges about 2 feet wide and a foot high built of dirt and compost over a base of vegetable matter like hay and manure. She runs the black plastic strips between the barrows so that she only has to weed the barrow, not the rows between.
Depending on the size of your garden, you may consider covering with the black plastic and cutting holes through it where you want to plant your peppers. Till the soil under the holes, add some compost or whatever, and plant your peppers. You'll only have to weed the small area right around the pepper.
Paul
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Andy Petro wrote:

Why do you want to do this? Presumeably for weed control. How to feed and water your plants is just a small part of the problems. You should also consider:
How do you hold it down in a high wind? What do you do with the bits as the plastic breaks down? How do you deal with the weeds in the holes and splits? How do you tell if watering is adequate? Where does the rain go? How do the roots respire? How do you stop the roots and soil microbes from being cooked?
David
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David, I don't know what part of the country he is in, but Ibelieve he said that he was in a region 5. See explanation: <http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hrdzon3.html In the winter it will get down to -26C - -29C, so it is a fairly cool spot. By using "plastic mulch" (sheets of plastic sheeting), he can raise the soil temperature, and the plant should develop more quickly than in cold soil. The sheeting is usually good for 3 years, and care must be taken during hot weather not to fry your plants. <<http://lubbock.tamu.edu/horticulture/documents/EffectsofPlasticMulchTyp eonTomatoGrowthandYield_2004_.pdf>>
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Being in region 5 myself. Peppers have been a problem for me as well. The season is short, just one hundred days from frost to frost. I have never used plastic either. I will guess that Billy is correct, it is to raise the soil temperature. I have found bugs and weeds rarely effect my pepper plants. I started my pepper plants indoors in Mid March this year, not early enough to get nice red or gold sweet bell peppers, just green. Most summers in Michigan are mild - upper 70'sF to Mid eighties during the day, mid sixties at night. However, on occasion some summers have hung around the low nineties. Rare to get above 100F.
I use raised beds for my peppers. In raised beds soil temp does get warmer faster. Still, I think I need to start peppers indoors in early February.
My guess, not positive, that a drip irrigation system waters and fertilizes the plants. Leave a future posting and let me know how well plastic sheeting works.
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Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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I think this is my plan http://organicgardening.about.com/od/organicgardenmaintenance/a/minihooph ouses.htm
and this is roughly how I'm going to do it. The other possibility is to put short pieces of rebar in the ground to hold the PVC. http://westsidegardener.com/howto/hoophouse.html
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I have thought about hoop houses. But are they more for insect control than temperature control? Deer and Raccoons are more of a problem than bugs.
Some areas grow things better that others. I usually end buying most of my peppers. Michigan does grow things well like blueberries.
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Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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I think my plans for a hoophouse hit the wall when I found that they absorb 5% - 20% of the sunlight. As I have often lamented, I live on the north side of a hill, and at best I get 6 - 7 hr.s of full sunlight per day during the height of summer, and none from Dec. to mid Jan. I don't think I can afford to give up any sunlight.
The last time I used a plastic mulch, I had small plants that got burned from the plastic. My plants are much larger this year, so I think I'll give it another go.
On other gardening fronts, I laid down some 2 X 4 wire fencing in one of my beds where Mr. Raccoon liked to dig in the mulch. There was a little digging around the perimeter of the metal mesh afterward, but its been 2 weeks since I've seen any sign that he has been here.
Today, I'll lay down some more of the fencing on the lettuce patch, and then plant it. That dibble is a damn handy tool.
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wrote:

Funny thing, ain't it...the more we advance the more we return to the "primitives" way....planting with sticks, burying garbage and burnt stuff, etc....
Charlie
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The future doesn't seem to be working out for us. Maybe we need to go home, where we came from, the past, and eat real food again. I really need to get out and piss on my plants more.
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I want my indoor toilet! I want my Truck! I like my power tools! If they can make them in a environment friendly way - cool!
They can have my grow-lights when they can pry them from my cold dead fingers! However, if gas gets much higher, I want a scythe.
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Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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Some people want waaaay too much. What if we throw in a cleaner environment, healthier food, and lower medical costs? Besides, if you don't piss outside, you're missing one of the great joys of nature (not on rainy days, or in the snow, YMMV)
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