Testing felt wool cloth as soil cover in vegetable fields (Photo: Kirsty McKinnon)
Testing felt wool cloth as soil cover in vegetable fields (Photo: Kirsty McKinnon)

Ground cover made of felted wool as a substitute for plastic

Plastic soil cover cloths are widespread in horticulture as a measure against weeds. Plastic cloths can be a source of soil pollution and are produced of a non-renewable resource. There is a need to develop soil covers in more sustainable materials and wool might be a relevant material.

The aim of the project is to test wool felt of various thicknesses and degrees of felting and assess the suitability in professional horticulture. We investigate which crops the cover is suitable for, how long the different covers last and how they function together with mechanical equipment, e.g. for weed management. Experience from testing wool covers in the VerdifUll project, forms part of the basis for the trials in this project. The covers were made of pigmented wool from Norwegian sheep at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk, Vest-Agder Museum, under the guidance of employees at the museum. The covers are tested in field at NORSØK and in a market garden in Trøndelag.

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