Fun out of gardening

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.
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Leeper wrote:

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
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Preen. Magic stuff. It's made from corn gluten and inhibits seeds from sprouting.
That said, you need to transplant your veggies rather than direct sow.
marcella

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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.
--
Dave

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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.
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Mulch - about 2 inches thick of thicker depending on the situation - sometimes up to a ft.

Not unless you want to cook your worms.
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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.
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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!
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Ann
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So how would you handle the weed seeds? Is there a special technique that works for you? I'm sure that more people other than myself would like other proven methods instead of Roundup.
~~ Shelly ~~
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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.
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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 gardener.
As for what James said about using Roundup several times and then going organic - I'm speachless. :o(
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expounded:

Probably a stock owner in some petrochemical outfit. Has no idea of what a vegetable garden is, and ate its resultant "fruit".
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Dave

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I suspect that a respect and appreciation of weeding only comes with age - a rite of passage for gardeners.

:-))))))))))))
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I guess.....but I've always liked weeding. Of course I also enjoy doing dishes by hand (while looking out the back window, daydreaming and watching the birds).
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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 BUT weeds.
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i use weed spray
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wrote:

Leeper,
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 gardening.
Also, it helps to chant in your garden..." I did not weed. I do not weed. I will not weed."
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I've only used the regular, but have a roll of the coated to try this year.
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