Published May 1, 2024

Benefits of Tarping for Organic Weed Control

By Practical Farmers of Iowa

Tarping is a very effective means of weed control on organic farms and can save time weeding in the fields later in the growing season. A silage tarp proves to be a great tool to prepare seed beds, facilitate the breakdown of leftover crop residue or cover crops and keep weeds at bay.

Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan operate Humble Hands Harvest, a worker-owned co-operative farm in Decorah, Iowa. In this video, Hannah discusses how they got started with tarping on their no-till vegetable farm, how they anchor tarps, timing, challenges and numerous benefits of tarping to support the health and productivity of their farm.

Hannah and Emily also participated in a PFI research trial “Tarping for No-Till Cover Crop Termination.”

For more information, check out “Tarping: Perspectives on a System for Soil Quality, Weed Control and More on Vegetable Farms,” a PFI-hosted webinar with Hannah Breckbill and Ryan Maher of Cornell University’s Small Farms Program.