Q: I read an article about gardeners using plasticulture to triple the yield of their vegetables. How can I use plastic to improve my backyard garden?
A: As the word implies, plasticulture is the process of using plastic to increase yields. It includes use in greenhouses and as mulch. Sprinkle 10-10-10 fertilizer, then till a row 2 feet wide and several feet long. Lay a soaker hose down the middle and roll three foot wide black plastic down the row. Anchor the edges of the plastic with soil. Cut an “X” in the plastic where you want to put a seed or seedling and plant normally. Water with the soaker hose when plants look slightly wilted. The plastic suppresses weeds, warms the soil and minimizes water loss, plus it makes harvest easier.