Cannot plant the veg garden this year

I have a 30 ft X6 ft area where I have a veggie garden each year. This year - looks like I might be away for summer. I need some suggestions to protect the area from weeds. I have already seen about 50 Dandelions sprung up! (Cincinnati/ OHIO- Zone 5)
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Lay down newspapers, about 4-6 sheets thick, in overlapping layers. Have a hose handy and wet them down as you work to keep them from blowing away. Then cover with straw, about 6" or so thick. The combination will keep the ground basically weed free, and will slowly break down so that it is ready for cultivation in the spring. If you want to put in fall crops in the late summer, just move the straw aside.
Sue
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On 5/10/04 6:13 AM, in article _dLnc.70807$ snipped-for-privacy@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net, "SugarChile"

idea and it depends upon how long you will be away. Plant potatoes....cover with sawdust, straw, so that the potatoes will eventually be able to reach the sun. When you come home, with a little luck, you will have potatoes! I haven't given this a lot of thought but it might just work...:) Gary Fort Langley BC Canada
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wrote:

this is the best suggestion. No crop is as maintenance-free as potatoes, and they will shade the ground and help keep weeds down. But they are not compatible with newspapers. Wood chips are probably best, straw second best.
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On Mon, 10 May 2004 18:17:39 +0530, FEDUP wrote:

Put a 6-8" layer of straw on the area. When you are ready to plant it again, turn the soil and incorporate the straw.
Several years ago, I read of some USDA research where hairy vetch was planted to restore nitrogen. The plants were knocked down when mature and became mulch for the crops of tomatoes planted amongst them. According to the USDA article, yields were high.
Regardless, mulch now and reap the benefits later.
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