Reserving Beds With Tarps: Setting The Table For When It’s Time To Plant

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2019: $199,962.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Cornell University
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Dr. Anusuya Rangarajan
Cornell University
It feels good to know beds are reserved and ready to go, but the logistics can be ugly – moving, securing, and shedding water. How can tarps be used to hold beds in a busy rotation with less weeds and less mess? One way is to use tarps for succession plantings, where tarps are laid and peeled back over time. Rachel Cross (Spirit of Walloon Market Garden – Boyne City, MI) shared their system for salad green successions and how they are managing the timing throughout the season. Another approach is to go small, use a tarp size that is easier to manage and try materials that hold less water. Molly Comstock (Colfax Farm – Alford, MA) shared how they are using woven fabric to hold beds between crops, killing crops and suppressing weeds, and moving towards no-till. Both brought their observations about problem weeds and we touched on combining tarps with other strategies, like flame weeding, when they come up short.
Ryan Maher, Cornell Small Farms
Target audience:
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.