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08 Plastic gardening

first_imgVolume XXIXNumber 1Page 8 Could you get those same benefits from use of plastic much inyour garden? Absolutely. But before you run out and start buyingplastic, take a closer look. It isn’t a good option for everyone.Installation. To get the mostbenefits from plastic mulch, you have to install it right.It’s especially important to bury 8 to 10 inches on each side ofthe plastic strip under about 6 inches of soil to hold theplastic in place. Otherwise, the first gusts of wind will blowyour plastic away. That can make your neighbors quite unhappy.For plastic to effectively warm the soil, it must be the righttype, installed on raised beds and “tight,” so it remains inclose, continuous contact with the soil surface.A number of good plastic-laying machines are out there forlarge-scale production. Unfortunately, the equipment forgardeners is very limited and costly.Because of that, gardeners who use plastic may have to install itby hand. That requires muscle and a lot of stamina. Manualplastic installation is definitely not for everyone.Colors. Several colors of plasticare available. Clear is best for warming the soil. But it doesn’tkeep weed seeds from germinating. Use black plastic in thespring. It keeps weed seeds from sprouting and warms the soil,too.Because black plastic may warm the soil too much during thesummer, white plastic is better then.Irrigation. Getting enough waterfrom rainfall or sprinklers to plant roots under the plastic canbe difficult, sometimes impossible. The best solution is toinstall drip irrigation hose or tape under the plastic so you canapply water directly to the soil near the plant rows.Disposal. A few types of”degradable” plastic are supposed to self-destruct at the end ofthe season. However, because they cost more and sometimes breakdown too fast, not many gardeners use them.After the gardening season is over, nondegradable plastic mulchmust be removed and legally disposed of. Burning is not anoption. Most of the time it goes to the landfill. Removing it canbe quite a chore, and disposing of it is a considerableinconvenience.Garden optionsAfter some serious thought, if you feel the benefits of plasticare worth the extra cost, time and effort, try it.If you’d rather avoid plastic costs or feel you’re not up to thehard labor required, don’t feel bad. There’s an excellentalternative: organic mulch, such as aged pine bark, grassclippings, straw or hay.Except for warming the soil, organic much has all the benefits ofplastic film mulch, with a bonus: you don’t need to remove anddispose of it. Just till it into the soil at the end of theseason and it will help build a better soil for next year’sgarden.(Darbie Granberry is an Extension Service horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.) By Darbie GranberryUniversity of GeorgiaYou may have seen fields of vegetables that seem to be growing onstrips of plastic. They’re really growing in the soil, just asthey normally do, through small openings in the plastic.The plastic strips are almost paper thin. They may be as narrowas 12 inches or as wide as 32, depending on the crop. Plasticfilm mulch is very helpful in commercial vegetable production. It:center_img Reduces weed problems, because most weed seeds don’t germinateunder black plastic.Reduces fertilizer leaching by limiting the amount of watermoving through the soil.Reduces the need for irrigation because it helps hold moisturein the soil.Helps protect roots, because there’s no need to hoe orcultivate near plants.Results in more vigorous plant growth and higher yields.Warms the soil and accelerates maturity so vegetables areready to be harvested sooner.last_img read more

La Liga’s new reality to bring optimism, discomfort

first_imgTopics : “The return of football is a sign that society is progressing to the new normal,” agreed Tebas earlier this month, adding “it will restore a part of life that people in Spain know and love.” Spain has managed to bring the number of infections under control in recent weeks, with the government reporting no deaths from coronavirus on Monday for the first time since the beginning of March. But with more than 27,000 confirmed fatalities, the country has been one of the worst-hit in the world and it is no surprise the approach to football’s return has been cautious and the attitude of some fearful. “It is possible that by losing the passion and intensity, which is really the essence of football, it will also lose that emotional center that is the hook for so many people,” said psychologist Adelaida Navaridas.  Many are adamant that, without fans, the campaign should not resume at all. “We understand we cannot go to the stadium due to the risk of infection,” said Joseba Combarro, president of the Eskozia La Brava, the most significant supporters’ club at Eibar, whose squad members have expressed reservations about playing too soon. “But the players share the same risk as the fans, the risk is for everyone. The league should be suspended.”  La Liga president Javier Tebas said Spanish football’s return will allow people to feel a sense of normality again but it may also serve as a reminder of an uncomfortable new reality. Spain’s top division is set to restart on June 11 and to be completed on July 19, yet the expectation is players will be subjected to safety protocol for several months and stadiums will not be full again until next year. In the short-term at least, its reemergence could offer some comfort. “There is no doubt the resumption of football will contribute to a general sense of relief among certain groups of people, who have been struggling with the pandemic,” David Moscoso, a specialist in sports sociology, told AFP.  ‘Social heart’ It is not only the atmosphere inside stadiums that will be lost. “The social heart of football comes from people getting ready for the game with friends, with family, and then staying together afterwards. All that is broken,” adds Guillermo Fouce, a professor of psychology at Madrid’s Complutense University. “But between having it back at 100 per cent or nothing at all is something in between that helps us to adapt. I think it’s still better to move closer to what was normal before.”La Liga have been eager to point to the economic benefits too, for people’s jobs and livelihoods. “Football’s return means the revival of a very relevant economic sector,” said Tebas. “It contributes 1.37 per cent of GDP and generates 185,000 jobs at a time when the economic situation is already the main concern.” “It is the primary service export industry in our country,” adds Moscoso. “It’s economic role is self-evident.” Television companies like Movistar, the biggest broadcaster of games in Spain, have also been promoting the idea that football’s revival amounts to progress. Every Sunday night this month, Movistar has hosted a program called “Volver Es Ganar”, “To Return is To Win”, a slogan that has also been carried by players and clubs alike. First and foremost, the game is coming back because of its own financial needs, with Tebas admitting clubs stood to lose around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) if the season was cancelled.Fans will have football again but, for a while at least, in a very different way to before.”Perhaps we have to consider that our new normal is going to be different,” Fouce said. “That nothing is going to be exactly the same as before.” last_img read more