Recycled Billboard Tarps
For Minibed-on-Plastic Gardening

Dateline: 7 February 2017

The following comment was posted to this site yesterday by Andrew Enjaian...
Herrick, I think this idea has a lot of potential, and I'm eager to see how it unfolds for you this year. My two cents on the plastic:
These are 11mil vinyl: black on one side and a design on the other. I've used white ones for years for animal shelters. The sizes aren't square since they were once billboard signs. Most sizes are 10-16' wide and 20-40' long and they are CHEAP. Right now they have a 20'x60' tarp listed for $108. Most 16' wide sizes are in the $30-50 range. Not sure if vinyl has any strikes against it for garden uses, but I've used the same ones outdoors for years with no problems. 

From what I've been able to determine at the web site, billboard vinyl is UV-resistant and safe for plants and fish ponds. I'm not sure about ink used to print on the plastic, but for more money, you can also get new billboard plastic. As Andrew says, the material is very reasonably priced.

I ordered one of the billboard tarps this morning. I'm going to use it over a section of lawn adjacent to my garden. Also, one of my sons wants to make a Minibeds-on-Plastic garden this year and a recycled billboard tarp will make the project a lot more affordable for him.

Billboard "tarps" are much thicker than the bunker cover plastic I now have on my Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden.

Thank you, Andrew, for the great idea!


  1. You shouldn't have any trouble getting 5-10 years from your frames, my frames are going into their sixth year still as strong as a new frame,but I'm using 4x4's that started as square foot gardens it's a little late to start a test garden here in Texas, my potato,and onions are already up. Beets and Swiss chard, starting to show signs of life. I'll be following along this year. Keep up-to-date,when you can
    Hillbilly Bob.

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  3. I am located in Kansas City area. I called the local billboard company and they gave me three 14'X48' billboards for free! As I am close to 60 I was searching for something easier for me as I age and this is very promising. I purchased the Minibed Gardening Trilogy and am very excited to get my beds established. Thanks Herrick.

    1. Hi Don! That's great to hear! Do you remember what company you called in Kansas City? I'm interested in getting a couple, hope they've worked out for you!

  4. I'm so relieved to have my used billboard tarp for my minibeds! It's pretty sturdy. The company above had my exact size, otherwise another company didn't and I was going to have to glue small ones together. The cost was reasonable, especially for a tarp used only once before, and I didn't care about shipping cost because the right size was saving me some costs and a lot of labor.

  5. Maam sir. May mga used billboard po kayo na tarpulin

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  7. Good This is very unique informative and beautiful article.
    Canvas Tarpaulins

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