I'd like to share with you a product that I'm really excited about.
It's called Bio360 Mulch Film. There are so many great reasons I like to use this film! Here's why..
It's a plant-based, biodegradable, thin film (think cheap plastic tablecloth thin) that degrades in 4-6 months. You lay it down like landscape fabric and at the end of the season, then incorporate it into the soil or put compost over it in fall. It’s much more earth friendly than landscape plastic.
One thing to note however, if you are going to use this in a landscape setting and want to top off with decorative mulch, it will start to decompose faster with the mulch on top. Not too big of a concern over a short growing season like in my zone where it typically runs June-September.
Bio360 also warms the soil because it is black. The reason this is great, is because in my zone (4b) the ground can stay cooler later in the spring which means I may have to plant some seeds or seedlings later. By laying it down in early spring, a few weeks before planting, it will help my soil warm up and be ready for my warm season annual seeds or seedlings. * Note that once the plants have grown up and shade the fabric, the temperature is not a concern.
The other great thing about Bio360 is that it doesn’t have to be staked down with staples like landscape fabric which saves so much time come fall clean-up. In fall, you can leave the film in place with the dead plants (if you prefer to leave them in until spring), or you can pull the plants out, leaving the film and putting compost on top to have beds ready for next spring. *If you don’t cover the film in fall, it will blow away without the plants or something on top anchoring it.
- Prevents most weeds from sprouting.
- Increases soil temperature and allows rapid root growth.
- Prevents erosion from water.
- Protects flowers and vegetables from direct contact with the ground so the crop remains clean and there are fewer plant diseases.
- It is easy to put down without equipment and a snap to plant through.
HOW TO USE IT
- Roll out the length you need in your garden and cut with a utility knife or scissors.
- If you are using irrigation or drip hoses, these go down under the film.
- To secure it in place you can either hold it down with rocks or dig a little trench a few inches deep around all edges, then tuck your edges of film into the trench and cover the film edges with dirt. Any open edge will catch the wind and pull it all up so make sure it is tucked in everywhere.
- To plant seeds or seedlings, simply tear a hole in the spot you want it to go. The smaller the better when it comes to seedlings or plants.
- In fall, you can leave the film in place with the dead plants if you like to leave them in until spring, or you can pull the plants out, leaving the film and putting compost on top to have beds ready for spring. If you don’t cover the film it will blow out without the plants anchoring it.
I like to buy mine from Johnny's.