I spent nearly a decade ammending my soil with natural amendments, and it is
now very fertile.
In recent years though, the battle with weeds has taken all the fun out of
it, and weeds just love the soil, and grow exceedingly fast and vigorous.
It has gotten so bad, that last year, I skipped planting it.
However, I miss the fresh produce off the vine, and the store bought stuff
tastes like wet cardboard.
How do you guys deal with the weeds?
I'm concidering covering everything with plastic this year, in the hope the
heat will kill many of the weed seeds.
I grow in 4x8 or 4x16 raised beds. They're all surrounded by landscape
fabric stapled to the wood of the frame and the fabric is covered with
mulch at least 18" out from the frame. The plants themselves are
surrounded by mulch as well. It not only dissuades the weeds, it retains
moisture and dissuades soft belly pests like slugs.
Covering the garden right now in plastic would start killing any weed
seeds in the ground. Leave it on for a couple weeks and then plant...and
go mad with the mulch and landscape fabric. If you don't have raised
beds, you can apply the fabric and mulch right up to the row of each veggie.
Zone 5b in Canada's Far East
Only prolific plant that I didn't purposely put in the garden is the dadburn
bermuda grass that surrounds it. Rest is easy to gleen out by hand weeding
every week or so. Bermuda grass is much more pesky.
Handing picking, hoeing, clawing, and occasionally spraying weed killers.
There are also pre-emergent weed killers out there but you can't use them
until your crops are up or you plant seedlings.
The heat doesn't go too deep so when you turn the earth you'll being up more
live seeds to germinate. If doing it manually isn't an option I'd go with
the chemicals. Anything beats the near tasteless stuff in the stores.
There are two organic methods I know of. The first is mulch. Wood
chips will not stop overwintering dandelions, but if you put down a
piece of cardboard, weigh it down with wood chips, and then plant
vegetables through holes in the cardboard, you will have zero weeds.
You can also use leaves that have matted down. Grass clippings work
too. If you have weed seeds only, any mulch will do.
The second method is chickens. Give them one week in the garden before
planting, and weeds, weed seeds, bugs, slugs, earthworms, and mice
will all be gone. If you let them in after you plant, the vegetables
will be gone too.
Roundup does nothing about weed seeds, which is what the original
poster's problem is. Nevermind that this is a vegetable garden; I
wouldn't use Roundup in the first place, but on ground that will
produce food??!? I don't think so!
Just weed. Or use and old kichen knife and just disturb the ground around
growing seedlings when the weeds are at a very immature stage. A small
amount of effort every day or second day in soil that is cultivated as a
veggie garden is, makes weed control easy - just do a bit often.
I weed. I cultivate the soil frequently which disturbs the seedlings,
severs roots and brings up new seeds to do the same thing to. Weeding
is an enjoyable task for me, calming, centering. It's part of being a
As for what James said about using Roundup several times and then
going organic - I'm speachless. :o(
I have found that mulching with grass clippings works pretty well.
Not to brag, but I can grow some world class weeds. Adding a few
layers of grass clippings throughout the summer at least keeps them
managable. Lord know if it weren't for that, I wouldn't have anything
I love my gardens. I HATE weeding. If there were no way around it, I would
eat the wet cardboard!
Sprays are one option. Didn't work for me. One year I killed all my
tomatoes, cukes, cantaloupes and something else.
Google the word MULCH. Then read your many, many options. Over the years,
I've tried straw, sawdust from a furniture manufacturer, leaves, grass
cuttings, newspaper (shredded and not shredded), cardboard and some others.
Due to some progressing physical problems I needed to begin simplifying
things, so 3 years ago I went to the black plastic, red for tomatoes. At the
end of the season, I roll it up and use it the next year.
As much as I prefer the organic approach and tilling the mulch into the soil
at the end of the season, the plastic mulch has enabled me to continue
Also, it helps to chant in your garden..." I did not weed. I do not weed. I
will not weed."
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