Today, it’s hard to imagine how gardeners and vegetable growers used to do without Agricultural mulch film – it’s become so commonplace today. Whatever you call it, this material helps protect our plants from the cold, hot sun and high winds.
On the shelves of specialty stores, you can find Agricultural mulch film in different colors and thicknesses. these indicators depend on the way this or that brand of product is used.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of using Agricultural mulch film, let’s try to understand what purpose is better to use this material.
ADVANTAGES OF USING AGRICULTURAL MULCH FILM
Initially, Agricultural mulch film was intended to replace polyethylene in the manufacture of hotbeds. This environmentally friendly, lightweight, and durable non-woven material does the job perfectly – this microclimate in the greenhouse contributes to good germination and plant development.
Increased humidity, increased heat, free penetration of sunlight and air, protection of crops from birds and insects – all these advantages make Agricultural mulch film an indispensable shelter.
The homogeneous structure of polymer fibers, treated in a special way, protects plants from increased UV radiation. But the most important advantage of the nonwoven material compared to polyethylene is the protection of plants from overheating.
To avoid the burning sprouts or seedlings on sunny days, the film must be uncovered or ventilation arranged, which can be quite problematic if you live far from your garden. Plants covered with Agricultural mulch film will not require constant attention.
WHAT IS AGRICULTURAL MULCH FILM?
Most white and black Agricultural mulch film can be found on the market in densities from 17 to 60 g/m2. The higher the number, the thicker the fiber. Sometimes black and yellow bi-colored fibers or black and white bi-colored fibers are also available.
White Agricultural mulch film with a density of 17-23 g/m2
It is a thin Agricultural mulch film that transmits sunlight (about 80%), air, and moisture very well. It is not stretched on the arc but placed directly on the soil. It is used after sowing, whether it is for vegetable crops, flowers, or lawns.
The soil covered with a thin Agricultural mulch film will retain heat and necessary moisture, so seedlings will germinate faster and will be more amenable. Seedlings are able to lift the fiber as they grow because it is thin and almost weightless, so there is no need to remove it as soon as sprouts appear.
Until the plants become stronger, they will be reliably protected from sun, wind, birds, and pests. Agricultural wool with a thickness of 23 g/m2 will protect crops from frost.
White Agricultural mulch film with a density of 30-42 g/m2
This thicker fabric allows about 65% light transmission. Due to its durability, this Agricultural mulch film is not only suitable for covering soil but also for laying out hotbeds. It is stretched over a metal arc, secured with clips, and fixed to the soil with boards or bricks.
With such a cover, seedlings can withstand frosts of 23°F(-5°C). In addition, such a greenhouse will protect plants from the hot sun, wind, hail, and even from snow, if nature suddenly appears with such a surprise.
White Agricultural mulch film with a density of 50-60 g/m2
This is the densest and strongest fiber, which is also used in greenhouses. Plants in such greenhouses can withstand frosts of -10 degrees Celsius. In addition, due to its strength, this fabric can also withstand high winds, rain showers, and hail.
Recently, dense Agricultural mulch film has been widely used in unheated greenhouses. Many gardeners who have polycarbonate greenhouses arrange dense Agricultural mulch film greenhouses in them to grow seedlings and herbs with good results. The greenhouse is heated during the day and the greenhouse retains heat during the night.
Dense Agricultural mulch film is successfully used to cover overwintering trees and shrubs. For small plants as well as greenhouses, arcs or frames are used, on which the material is thrown.
Fruit trees and conifers are wrapped in Agricultural mulch film and secured with twine. This measure protects plants not only from frost but also from sunburn, which often appears on trees in early spring.
In areas with severe winter frosts, it is recommended to cover the plants with Agricultural mulch film folded into two or three layers. The air layer formed between the layers will generate additional heat and the plants will not be affected even in the worst frosts.
Black Agricultural mulch film with a density of 50-60 g/m2
Dense black Agricultural mulch film is most often used as a mulching material. It is placed directly on the dug and fertilized bed. The edges of the fabric are held in place with special pins or pressed down with a wooden board. The fibers are cross-cut at appropriate intervals and the plants are planted in the resulting holes.
This method is most often used in the cultivation of garden strawberries, killing several birds at a time:
- Irrigation is reduced because the soil under the spunbond does not overheat and dry out.
- No need for constant weeding – weeds cannot break through the dense fabric.
- berries stay clean even in heavy rains; therefore, there is no rotting and other problems that often arise from the fruit’s contact with the ground.
- Pests in the soil, especially slugs, often plague strawberries but do not cause any damage to the berries.
Black Agricultural mulch film is also used for growing vegetables, following the same principles as for growing strawberries. After harvesting, the fruiting plants are removed and the rutabagas are shaken out, dried, and stored until the following year.
In beds planted with strawberries, the fleece can be kept for several years until it becomes worthless, but by then it is usually time to renew the planted berries as well.
Black Agricultural mulch filmis often used in landscaping. Agricultural mulch film is laid underneath tiles when laying out garden paths, and when laying out decorative islands – underneath marble chips, bark, wood chips or cones. If this is not done, weeds sprouting here and there can disturb the harmony and add extra work to weed control.
Black and yellow and black and white Agricultural mulch film
Both types are improved versions of black fiber. They are used as mulch material and are laid on the soil with the light side facing up. The black side does not let in sunlight and prevents weed growth, while the light side prevents the soil from overheating. Two-color Agricultural mulch film is also used in landscaping as a base layer for light-colored marble chips.
Many beginning gardeners confuse concepts such as Agricultural mulch film and Agrotextiles. Agrotextiles are different materials: Agricultural mulch film is available in nonwoven and woven fabrics. Agrotextiles are much denser – 90, 100, 120, 130 g/m2 – and it is mainly used only for mulching.
HOW LONG DOES AGRICULTURAL MULCH FILM LAST?
The service life of agricultural mulch film depends on many factors.
- In terms of strength – in general, dense grades of fiber have higher strength and longer service life.
- UV stabilization (decomposition of the material from sunlight) – there are indicators of this in Agricultural mulch film, which will last about 3 years
- Careful use – Agricultural mulch film will last for several years if fiber breakage is avoided during handling, which often occurs due to high winds and incorrect fixing.
Even if the Agricultural mulch film breaks and cannot be used as a greenhouse – the covering and warming properties of the material will not be lost. Damaged canvas can be used for covering perennials over the winter, covering soil, arranging small seedbeds – schools.
Often, as years of experience have shown, using Agricultural mulch film in gardening, horticulture and landscaping is not a luxury. This inexpensive but durable material can be an effective solution to a variety of problems, making it easier to grow healthy plants and improve the site.