domestic dischord about importance of weeding

My roommate says weeding is not a requirement of a good garden. I on the other hand can't find the plants due to the very healthy weeds surrounding everything else. I am not much of a gardener (but I am the designated harvester) and I thought I would check out my possible incorrect thoughts about weeds. 1) Weeds take needed rain away from the vegetble plants. 2) Weeds will steal the nutriants in the soil away from the vegetable plants. 3) Just mowing between the rows does not benefit the vegetble plants as much as pulling the weeds. 4) Mulching with newspaper or something like that would be beneficial. Anyway any opinions regarding the Zen of weeding your vegetable garden would be appreciated. TIA
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On 07 Aug 2003 11:36:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Guppy21014) wrote:

I prefer mulching to weeding, so I mulch. Mulching also conserves water and (if you mulch with organic materials) improves the soil.
You only need to mulch heavily once, conceivably twice, but you need to weed many times.
In raised beds using intensive planting, often the plants themselves will grow so thickly that they'll shade out weeds, without mulch being used.
I usually mulch with grass clippings, or straw, or autumn leaves: whatever I can get, really. I'd use newspaper if I had it (removing colored portions first).
Pat
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Pat Meadows wrote:

Go to your local newspaper place [whereever they print the paper] and ask for the "end roll." This is the last few hundred feet of the roll of blank paper. They usually give it away, and the long continuous roll makes laying it down easy.
Andrew
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I tried cedar mulch on top of newspaper for the first time this year. In previous years I just used cedar mulch. The newspaper worked out great. No weed problems where it was laid.

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On 07 Aug 2003 11:36:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Guppy21014) wrote:

You are correct. Plants compete for sun, water, and soil nutrients. It's not *quite* a zero-sum game, but weeding isn't just a consideration of neatness.
As for the Zen -- weeding requires little or no intellectual effort, so time spent weeding can be quite like meditation. It's "out in the fresh air" (as a bookish kid, I was always being urged to go outside). It's useful and blameless. One of the few activities/pursuits in life for which people can have absolutely no criticism. The hoe method involves a certain amount of exercise, which is also lauded. The 'sit on the ground and pull' method isn't much exercise, but can be interspersed with walking around a bit and admiring how much you've accomplished. The mulch method can be combined to reduce the amount of time spent with the other 2 methods, as mulch is very good but not 100% effective.
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