weed control

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OK I have gotten a lot of responses, and no I am not trying to kill the planet--I just want to grow some veggies!
I live in Missouri, and have a lot of crab grass, thistle, and poison ivy, etc. The garden patch has been extremely difficult to control the weeds in the past couple of years.
I have tried mulching, almost 4" in deep across the whole area--does little if anything to stop weeds. I have tried black plastic, which seems to stop or slow down the weeds--but makes everything else that much harder to grow. I have sprayed repeatedly with RoundUP and everything else they sell at Lowe's, and actually the only one that worked at all was a no name brand that did kill the weeds for up to 2 weeks. But they came back. I have tried burning the whole area, looks ugly for a couple of months---but weeds came back. I have crawled around on my hnds and knees pulling all of them out and removing the roots and all. Still they came back.
Gardening should not have to be this difficult. Com'on folks tell the secret potion I need to fix things so I can have a good garden this summer.
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wrote:

Spacing the plants closer will reduce some weeds. Planting in rows makes it easier to hoe the entire 20x20 garden in less than 10 minutes. I may have to hoe every 4-5 weeks. My strawberries require hand weeding, maybe 5 minutes for a 15-foot row. You may need to identify the weeds to understand control measures. I have used a propane torch on weeds gone out of control. Avoid herbicides, at least in your food garden. Weeding is probably not one of those favorite gardening tasks, but a well-kept garden requires it.
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wrote:

You should already know it is not a good idea to burn poison ivy or poison oak. For those you will need RoundUp, perhaps a second and third application for established plants.
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In article

Get a Japanese gardening knife and a hula hoe and a warren hoe. Start with a very small garden and expand when you have got the small the way you want it.
<http://www.vsb.cape.com/~nature/greencenter/newalchemy.html <http://www.johnnyseeds.com/search.aspx?SearchTerm=hoe <http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-568-collinear-hoes.aspx
Bill
P.S. The one secret it to cultivate before the weeds emerge.
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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wrote:

JMO, but I'd say you need to be at peace with the weeds. What you fight, you invite or some other such platitude.
Weeding is a constant in gardening. You don't do it once or twice and that's it for the season. It's a daily/weekly/however often you want to do it thing. It's getting on your hands and knees weeding, visiting, tending - being aware of what is growing.
mulching is good - cover crops - I grew red clover amidst the tomatoes one year to give the weeds less space to grow.
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Wise words in your response Kate. Your response made me think of that old saying: 'The best fertiliser is the footsteps of the gardener'.
Not all weeds are bad chen. Look at them and wonder why they grow, and why they grow where they do. Thistles for example grow where soil needs to be repaired. They are what I call 'deep miners' as they (at least the ones I know, but yours could be a different species) put down deep tap roots and if you pull them up you will find worms snugged in close to the tap root. they must be giving something to the worms and I suspect that it is mineral found at a much deeper level than earth worms like to go and pulled up into the body of the plant by the deep root.
Creeping grasses are a total bitch though and the only way I have found to get rid of them is to paint them with a concentrate of glyphosate using a paint brush. I dont' spray it and I keep a very close eye on the spot to make sure that if any more emerges, I repaint it as it comes up. I've found that it has taken 3 applications of neat glyphosate to get rid of it.
I don't know what poison ivy is as we don't have it in this country.
Some general advice I would give is to start very small and to prepare a small space well and to learn to manage that first before going the whole hog. To make sure there is always some fallow period and to always remove weeds before they seed in those beds.
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Thread lead me to.
<http://www.southernexposure.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
Which lead to a reasonable priced book on weeds which I recommend. Library may be able to get it. "Weeds and what they tell."
<http://www.southernexposure.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Produ ct_Code123&Category_Code=BOOK>
Which lead to <http://www.southernexposure.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Categ ory_Code=RTOM>
Which lead to a source for Marglobe tomatoes.
Thanks
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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(snip) You set me off having a hunt too. I knew that sorrel was an indictor of acidity but not dandelions.
I found a few interesting sites: http://www.littlefarmresearch.com/weeds.ivnu
http://ridgetownhorticulturalsociety.blog.ca/2009/05/27/weeds-as-indicators-of-soil-conditions-stuart-b-hill-jennifer-ramsay-6185945 /
http://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/weeds/WeedsToC.html
Seems like there is lots of info out there to be found.
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Thanks Farml for posting your urls of value ! I'll check them out.
I do not know what is more difficult. Being a new gardener and not know what to search for or being an experienced gardener and think you know. Sort of scares me how in a way not knowing is proven daily.
Still the Andromeda plant broken by the snow continues to show bloom. Pollinators love this plant.
<http://www.shadegarden.net/japanese-pieris-japanese-andromeda/
Albert E said soon us we say we know we stop thinking about it.
Bill who bought Moonflower, Mexican Sunflower and a very red Morning Glory for the hummers an hour ago.
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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Either your weather has undergone some dramatic changes, Bill, or the above are very powerful amulets against the snow elves.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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In article

Double bubble toil and trouble the spirits are about to speak. Are they friendly spirits? God knows where in my gray matter database that came from? Not Hamlet most likely junk TV.
Anyway I have been looking at my first born and ........
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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Sounds more like a cross between Hamlet, and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Ah, you must have a good relationship for your first born to put Spring in your step. Sadly, others see their first born more as King Lear or Macbeth. I'm glad that your's is a keeper.

--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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LOL. I've always liked the old saying "that the more you learn, the more you realise that you still have to learn". That applies to most, but not all, people and especially gardners who mostly seem to know the inate truth of that.
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I have Weeds Guardians of the soil A paper back 1974. God I got some good stuff buried about.
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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wrote:

Thanks, Farm1. I like your old saying - I haven't heard it before but certainly true.

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wrote:

So what happened? Why didn't you repeat with the red clover?
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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wrote:

I was growing large scale - close to 200 tomato plants. I planted the red clover too late to be really effective but it was awfully cute coming up en masse.
Now that I'm small scale again, I still plant with red clover, but more because I want the red clover. I use it to control hot flashes and night sweats, in a brandy tincture.
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On Feb 16, 1:26pm, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com wrote:

Tell me more about how it controls hot flashes and night sweats. Goodness if it works where can I get some?
MJ
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wrote:

I imagine you could buy it in a health food type store, but I harvest the blossoms of red clover (Trifolium pratense) that grows in my yard (I sowed the seed). Fill up a pint or quart jar with blossoms, cover with brandy so the brandy covers the flowers by and inch or so, cover and shake up every day for 6 weeks and viola, you have a red clover tincture. I take about 10 drops twice a day and it works for me. I sure know when I've skipped a couple of days.
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wrote:

Get a Mantis tiller. And you really can't garden without a contractors wheelbarrow! Ahahahahahahahahahahaha. . . .
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