The weeds are winning.
I got down on my hands and knees with my knee pads
and gloves and took out two 45 gallon trash bags of
weeds this week. Mostly cheat grass. And that
is only 2/5 of the front yard. I have not started
my back yard yet.
I can not do this anymore. I am too old. And
it is a fire hazard.
The front yard, I will just have someone lay
down new plastic and re-rock it.
The back yard (my garden), I am thinking of having
someone put in tiles and raised beds:
I am at a loss as to what to put down on the
rest of the yard. Tiles? Plastic decking?
I have raised beds, and I laid down outdoor cheap carpet where I didn't
want a raised bed. The weeds used to be horrible to deal with in the
heat of the summer. Now, it's just very minimal weeding at best.
There's the occasional random weed that might grow where you let debris
build up, or at a seam here or there. The carpet is between the raised
beds, so, I don't see how any leaching could get into the raised bed to
affect the veggies. I've got photos! :)
sounds reasonable in an arid climate and very
easy to care for for a while. in the end what
matters a lot for installations of this kind are
what kind of wind deposition of sand/dirt you
might get and any weed seeds blow in on the wind
also if you get any water run off across the area
you need the rocks to be sized to keep erosion
any gravel we put in here in some locations
many years ago now has so much dirt in it and
humus from the trees dropping needles that it
can support plants growing. it needs to be taken
up and cleaned out. which is more work than i
want to do so we are letting some thyme grow in
it and i try to keep the worst of the weeds out
very expensive for some hunks of coated metal,
but pretty much any raised bed i consider a waste
of $ especially in an arid climate. how you
going to keep them watered and from getting too
hot? you may need some kind of shading.
how large an area?
i'm just remembering when you couldn't grow
anything at all there. two bales of free organic
95% of the weeding i do here is using a
stirrup hoe. which means i am standing up and
scraping any weeds off at the surface. it is
pretty quick and i can cover a few thousand
square feet in an hour or two. once a week or
so depending upon how much rains we've had.
not many weeds survive this treatment.
the remaining close weeding is needed to get
around plants in particular patches. this only
has to be done when the garden plants are small
and cannot shade the ground enough to prevent
weeds from growing. after a few rounds of
close weeding most gardens here are set for
the rest of the summer unless we miss a few
you could probably put down thick black mil
plastic and hold it down with some rocks and that
would smother any areas you need to get back
i much prefer using cardboard and woodchips
but it sounds like you are worried about fire
control there and we don't have that sort of
using larger crushed and rinsed stone is ok
but you do need to make sure it is down thick
enough that any weed seeds that blow in cannot
easily germinate. and having good borders along
the gardens will keep any temporary weeds still
alive under the black plastic from getting into
your gardens. after a year or three anything
under the black plastic will be dead.
yes, they're well worth the investment IMO.
for harder soils and ones with more rocks they
don't work as well, but for sandy soils or clay
you can skim right across the surface.
once you have seeds for grasses you don't want to
use those for anything other than burying pretty
deeply. :( gotta get it out before it starts
setting seeds. if the seeds are not viable and
won't ripen once you cut the stalks that can be
workable for some weeds/seeds, but i've never
tested it out as to what stage that happens so i
if you have birds around that will eat them or
other creatures then it isn't so bad, but basically
i don't often let anything go to seed in the gardens
if i can help it at all. it just makes life so much
so the above hoe lets you get out and scrape the
plants off so they will dry out in the sun once a
week or as often as you can and get that done before
they set seeds. you will have to do this several
times for some plants before they will stop having
enough energy to come up. every weed is different.
the area you have already cleared if you can keep
hitting it with a scraper of some kind those grasses
won't have a chance. just have to keep at it and
that is the hard part for most people as they can't
be as consistent as they would need to be to get rid
of a weed.
this garden i needed to do a lot of prep work on
to get it back into shape:
this is what it looks like now:
except it is surrounded by blooming daffodils now that
i had to move from inside to around the edges. i can
stirrup hoe that entire garden in a few hours. close
weeding along the edges is a lot more time because i
have creeping thyme growing along there now that i enjoy
sitting there and weeding. that takes a bit longer
depending upon how much grass seeds get scattered from
the lawn mower along the edge. if i could get rid of
the grassy area along the edge i could save myself quite
a bit of extra work. grasses always like to spread into
the neighboring gardens and cost me a lot of time weeding.
the creeping thyme looks like:
because those two edges are not along grassy areas there
are not that many weeds in there as compared to along the
further edge where it runs along the grass. i only have to
spend a few hours here or there twice a month to keep those
edges fairly cleared of weeds. it does take good vision
and close-up work as i'm tracking down very fine grass plants
as they are trying to get sprouted and growing. as i keep
at it there are fewer and fewer i have to find but always a
few as the birds and other animals can move some seeds
still i would much rather be weeding than mowing so...
it is all good. i enjoy the work. :)