Garden fabric/cloth/whatever they call it and weeds

It's not quite plastic sheeting, but close. The idea is that you lay it down, poke holes in it for what you want to plant, it'll let that grow fine, it'll let water through from above, discourage water loss through surface evaporation, be mean to weeds, and in all things make your gardening life better.

I don't know about all of that, but it does make it easier to remove Blackberries, Clematis, and other root-intensive plant life.

You see, the interface between the garden cloth and the ground is just made for root expansion, long tendrils scrambling out and about in that boundary where the ground is soft and moist, both below and above the fabric. So instead of major tap roots reaching half-way to Epsilon Eridanii IV, you have these long streamers of roots and rootlets reaching in a variety of directions, but few of those directions being down. And when you pull on them, the roots are, on the whole, stronger than what they've rooted in, and multi-foot long sections will come loose without too much effort.

It is amazing how long the roots of Blackberries can be, and just when you think the root mass you're pulling on is going to surface at the next outcropping of Blackberries you discover that it actually continues to the one beyond, and only then does it loop back to the intermediate interloper.

Apparently there is a school of thought that says if you lay this stuff down it will kill off any weeds caught underneath. This may be the case for wimpy weeds like dandelions, but not tough weeds like Blackberries, they love the humid heat that builds up during the initial deployment, and then like to creep out into the mat of dead grass that builds up on top of the fabric over the years.

But still and all, it does make it much easier to remove the nasty plantsies when they raise their ugly heads.

And it appears to be pretty effective against Clematis, which really wants to have deep roots, and gets pretty scrawny when forced to have shallow roots; Blackberry is better at boring through, Clematis is stymied by the garden fabric.

This makes getting rid of these unwanted plants a tour through the history of my parents' gardening methodology, finding where and when they used garden cloth by the behaviour of the plants, and the sharp demarcation between above/below root masses, in some areas I can practically roll up the upper layer of soil that's built up on top of the cloth. Horticultural Archaeology, here I come!

My brain is tired, so its time to

Post this Puppy!

No comments: