Weeds as tall as I am!

I have a large (really large, like 50 feet by 50 feet) shade garden in my backyard, but it is being completely overrun by weeds. I am trying to come up with a way to get rid of the weeds (and keep them from coming back!) without killing off the beautiful trees, ferns, hostas and other perennials growing throughout. I have used thick layers of newspaper covered with mulch in smaller areas with a great deal of success, but this is such a large area (and the weeds are soo tall!), I'm looking for other suggestions. Any thoughts?
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I spend something like six hours a week pulling weeds- let me know when you find the elixir!
--
Toni
South Florida USA
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How about hiring some neighbor kids to pull them out for you?

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You could also use a long-handled lopper, cut all the weeds down to near soil level, and then use newspaper and mulch. Some of the thicker stemmed weeds would probably poke through, but you could keep after them more easily.

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I have some sort of grassy weed myself that is ONLY above my knees.........................I would suggest you invest in a machete, and whack the weeds back by half with the blade. Stop and drink some iced tea, whack away at some more. Rest and do this a little at a time depending on what your weather is like right now. If you do chunks of this, you'll be surprised at how quickly you will get the weeds down to managable size, and then honestly, I'd weed whack the rest of them. As badly as the weeds are, I'd almost say cut all the perennials down to the ground that are through blooming, their strong roots will give you display next spring.
Once you have the weeds whacked down to managable height, you can seek out local neighborhood teenagers willing to be paid for a couple of hours work. A twenty sounds piddling, but that would be $10 an hour................You could also provide soda pop and pizza and make it a weeding party.........that way you could watch the plants you want to try and save from their efforts.
Keep us posted. GREAT that you're back!!
madgardener up on the weedy, grassy overgrown ridge, back in Fairy Holler, where the foundation of my house is collapsing after rains we received last week, overlooking a hazy and humid English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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Just keep pulling the bloody things, sooner or later you'll get ahead of them. That's what we all do and we love it! Right gang? LOL.
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There are also a number of long-handled weed pullers that could make your labor less stressful. A good list of these weed tools can be seen at the World of Weeds at www.ergonica.com/Garden_Tools.htm.
High speed weeding can also be a good calorie burner and aerobic exercise. For more info on high speed weeding visit www.ergonica.com/grooming.htm.
_________ WEEDING: Enjoy the work! www.ergonica.com
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1-800-RENT-A-BUFFALO ?
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