About 6 weeks ago, I planted a lot of pole bean seeds around pole bean
towers. I don't use any herbicides. The area is a mess. There are way
more weeds than pole beans. The pole beans are numerous though.
1. Do I just let the weeds grow and pick the beans when they are
2. Is there an organic way of preventing the weeds from appearing
without just pulling them out by hand?
My pole beans have yet to push but my bush (I'm gonna have to change
that to "Freedom") beans have "Freedomed out and I've gotten enough for
two dinners so far. I planted 3" apart and there really isn't much Sun
under them and as a result, no weeds. Suggest you pull weeds, mulch, and
wait. Omelet's suggestion is sure fire though. Don't even have to pull
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
What you are experiencing with the freedom beans, is one of the
principles, and results of biointensive gardening (not biodynamic).
You get your soil built up so that it can handle a much more intense
load of cultivars, and the resulting "canopy" creates a living mulch.
One can grow an amazing amount of food in very little space.
The method I am following and working towards is "grow biointensive",
John Jeavon's baby. Similar to french biointensive and some of the
Rodale work. Jeavon's book is well worth the money simply for the seed
starting, transplanting and spacing charts.
This is my goal.
On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 01:16:58 -0500, Charlie wrote:
This is how I grow a lot of produce in tubs and containers. A 10 inch
flowerpot filled with enriched soil will hold 5-6 bush bean plants
quite comfortably. I grow my radishes in window boxes, my cukes (6-8
plants per) and tomatoes (2 plants per) in large tubs. Leaf lettuce is
a breeze to grow in small pots right outside on the kitchen deck.
I do grow things down in my garden, but frankly, I use it more and
more for garlic, corn and roses. I was providing too many groundhogs
with good eats before I switched to pots.
On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 10:56:38 -0500, Charlie wrote:
I was just out to water and everything looks great, as it does this
time of year. Tomatoes full of flowers, beans and peas starting to
vine. Lovely. Broccoli rabe bolted overnight, though, silly plants.
I am curious as to how that turns out, although I am not too happy
about placing cukes nearby the squash.
Well, the pole beans should outgrow the weeds soon enough, but I can't
imagine why you couldn't just pull the weeds and be done with them.
They're competing right now for water and nutrients with your
seedlings, get rid of them while they're young, too.
Smother the weeds if your soil is like mine; sometimes "pulling" is
not an option when all that does is break the b**g things off at
ground level. Of course, you _could_ water the area for 30 minutes;
maybe pulling would work then.
Smother the weeds with mulch. Several layers of wet newspaper topped
with your flavor of organic mulch material will deny the weeds
There is a pre-emergent weedicide (?!) made from, of all things,
corn. I have not used it, but the areas under my bird feeders that
receive regular doses of the cracked corn form of corn are completely
bare. Maybe it's the corn, maybe it's the birds scratching about,
maybe it's a combination.. dunno.
BTW, if you are considering a Ruth Stout approach to weed control, be
aware it may take you literally tons of material to smother those
Thanks for all your input. When I tried to pull the weeds I ended up
pulling out bean plants as well. I really wanted some way to prevent
them. I am going to look into an organic pre-emergent weed killer. I
was unaware that such a chemical existed.
Thanks again, Richard
I don't think that the pre-emergents are selective. Preen is supposed
to last for most of the growing season. You cannot apply them until
the desired seeds are up and going. By that time the weeds are too.
The only thing to do is to start the seeds in the house and set out
If you put down a heavy mulch (we use grass clippings) as soon as the
plants emerge or the plants set out, you will not have nearly as much
weeding to do. The grass clippings decompose and help feed the soil
as well as keeping the ground moist.
"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
Use both hands. Hold the bean stem between two fingers against the
ground and pull the weed seedlings. It's a bit exacting, but the best
way to deal with the existing weeds.
Keep in mind corn gluten (which is what you're talking about) will
impede the emergence of *all* seeds, not just the weeds. It's also a
bit of a fertilizer, I forget how much nitrogen it contributes, but it
And have the soil moist. That reduces the chances of pulling out anything
on which you don't have a firm grip. I've not had a problem pulling weeds
only when the soil is quite moist.
Depending on the weed, sometimes just breaking it off (if it is quite
young) will also work. The very moist soil works much better.
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