Introduction

The use of low density polyethylene mulch for fumigation, weed control, and soil cover has become the standard for production of many vegetables in the southeastern United States. Most low density polyethylene mulch laid for spring vegetable production is followed by a second crop in the autumn and potentially a third crop the following spring. These succeeding vegetable crops can be transplanted directly into the existing low density polyethylene mulch covered beds formed prior to spring fumigation. This allows for multiple crop production using the same beds. This is done in order to minimize expenses associated with low density polyethylene mulch and drip tape irrigation, by distributing costs over multiple crops (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Newly laid low density polyethylene mulch for spring planting of vegetables (left) and clean beds prior to autumn vegetable transplanting.
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