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Subject:  Why is mill fabric so popular?

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South Dakota

I see that most growers are using mill fabric under their pumpkin. What is it about mill fabric that makes it so good? Do you put sand on top or under the fabric, or just set the pumpkin directly? I read where some put 3/4 plywood under the mill cloth? How and why do you use mill fabric?

6/11/2019 6:06:19 PM

Smallmouth (Team Ozark)


Mill fabric is a heavy grade plastic. You’ll never have to worry about it rotting mid season and the stuff is indestructible. It drains very well too. I use just sand on top and add as pkn grows.

6/11/2019 6:35:30 PM


Morgantown, WV

I use plywood to keep a flat bottom on a level pad being that I grow on a hillside. The mill fabric goes on top because it is a very tough barrier between the ground and the pumpkin which helps if you have tunneling critters, but it is still permeable and allows water to drain instead of puddle.

I still use sand to help it slide on the fabric, but sand only is an option if you need as mill fabric is hard to find and expensive to ship.

Too much sand will cause a concave bottom, so just use enough that no rocks will poke through the top, and keep placing a couple inches around as it grows.

6/11/2019 8:53:18 PM


Saunders County, NE

Dustin how much sand are you estimating? If I don't have mill fabric, just plywood. Would 1-2 inches be adequate? I ended up with a concave bottom using only sand last year and would like to avoid it.

6/11/2019 10:47:40 PM



mill fabric is used for keeping mice from chewing a new home inside your kin that you don't see from the bottom, we use it in the following manner, plywood first, then 2 sheets of mill fabric, 2 sheets will allow you and a friend to slide the kin up to around 800 lbs, to keep stress off the main vine and positioning as your kin grows, also we always use sand on top of the fabric and around the kins, this helps the kin slide along the mill fabric as it grows and deters slugs from eating the kins ,

6/11/2019 11:09:13 PM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

The stuff is great because it lasts forever. I just use mill fabric, no sand. The set up Marley mentions is top notch. I am to cheap to buy the extra sheet of mill fabric.

6/12/2019 6:35:19 AM


Morgantown, WV

I agree, Marley's setup is ideal with the second sheet for pumpkin positioning, but I just use the one sheet and adjust carefully.

Yes, just an inch or so on the plywood will be enough if sand is used without the mill fabric. Every week or so during peak growth, I'll make sure the sand ring stays a few inches bigger around than the pumpkin, but try to maintain the same thickness on the sand. Figure maybe a bag of play sand per pumpkin, then it just gets tilled in at the end of the season.

6/12/2019 7:20:03 AM


NE Arkansas

Whats the point of mill fabric is you put down plywood and sand?

6/12/2019 10:21:12 AM

Orange U. Glad


If someone has a source let me know, please. I checked with the guy selling fabric in the BP equipment section and he does not have any ready to ship at this time. As recommended as it is, you would think that it would be a little easier to find. Any help is appreciated.

6/12/2019 10:39:25 AM


Plymouth, MN

Beat me to the punch--I'm also looking for some fabric if it's out there to be had.

6/12/2019 12:08:58 PM


Morgantown, WV

I put both down Jeremy because I have both and it makes me feel better to see it under a pumpkin instead of in the garage. If I had neither, I would probably just go with the plywood and sand option. The plywood is more important to me for a levelable base, and the bit of sand is really just to raise 1/2" or so to keep out of puddles and protect from splinters. I feel it would slide just as well without the sand, but it also makes me feel better as an insurance policy for time invested.

Those using the double sheet on plywood do have merit in that it is easier to pull the heavy pumpkins in August, but it isn't necessary, just makes it easier.

6/12/2019 12:16:22 PM



The mill fabric is able to drain and no worries underneath from anything getting to your kin and taking a bite. I put some sand on top of it also. I like the idea of an extra sheet for moving the fruit.

6/12/2019 8:46:13 PM

Team Wexler

Frenchburg, Ky

There is plenty of "mill fabric" on ebay, just don't expect to find it if you use the term mill fabric. The proper term is conveyor belt fabric. If you go that route, quiz the buyer to ensure you purchase the permeable type. A lot of the belting offered is rubber and/or other non-permeable material.

6/13/2019 8:55:40 AM


Penryn CA

If anyone finds a Mill Fabric seller please let me know!

6/13/2019 5:39:35 PM

Nana Rea

Massillon, Ohio

I also use mill fabric and sand. But I smile when I hear that it keeps mice from burrowing up through it. MY mice just walk right across the top to get under the pumpkin! Last year I packed sand tight around the bottom of the pumpkin and inspected everyday. Surely I'd know if the sand was disturbed for mice to get in! When we lifted the pumpkin, there it was...... a nice big nest and mice! Can they live in there without coming out for air, food and water? Sorry I'm no help for your question LJ, but thought you might enjoy the story!!

6/13/2019 6:47:52 PM



also keep in mind, the mill fabric will prevent mice and other critters from digging a new home in your kin from the bottom where you cant see. the layer of sand around the kin will also warn you of pending critters digging a home under there, so take action by putting out mouse bait or traps, depending what your critter is, before you put another ring of sand around your kin, check around it for tracks or signs of digging under there. remember, you only have 1 kin per plant, be diligent don't chance losing your kin. i don't use many traps or baits, i use diluted zero-tol about every 5 days sprayed around on the sand, also wipe the kin down,seems to work well, I had a terrible mice and mole problem, only my solution that works for me.

6/13/2019 8:42:59 PM


Vancouver Washington

I was under the impression that the sand was also used under the pumpkin as a means to "level" the blossom to stem "angle" to aid in even growth of the pumpkin?

6/14/2019 7:40:22 AM



yup, your impression is correct.

6/14/2019 11:07:09 AM


San Diego, Ca.

I've bought from Dan before.

6/14/2019 6:35:12 PM

Orange U. Glad


Dan is back logged right now and not filling new orders. That is why a couple of us are asking around for a new source.

6/14/2019 9:14:59 PM


Fullerton, California

Cement board and sand works well

6/15/2019 11:06:13 PM

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