Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm not able to see how black plastic is appropriate! How do they build soil fertility with the plastic in the way?
Michael Cox wrote:If the alternative was wood chips, for example.
Michael Cox wrote:
The advantage of plastic is that it works at large scale, unlike mulching with woodchips for example.
Sometimes it feels like permies are generally too quick to totally throw out technologies that work and could be co-opted into the permaculture fold. They may not be totally "pure" but they bridge the gap between what can be achieved at farm scale and what can be achieved in a back yard. If the alternative was wood chips, for example, you might consider the lifetime of each set of chips and the fossil fuels consumed in their production - chainsaw, chippers, vehicles to get them to site etc... repeated every two years or so. Contrasted with a one off installation of plastic at planting time that will last 20 years.
Tyler Ludens wrote:Another reason I wouldn't personally use plastic is because it breaks down very quickly in this climate, turning into nasty little brittle shards. I've made a LOT of mistakes by buying plastic stuff and thinking it would last in the sun. It mostly doesn't, and then it turns into a huge trash problem.