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Author Topic: help! (weed control)  (Read 3636 times)
akane
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« on: March 22, 2009, 05:43:33 PM »

Last year I decided to convert a section of the weedy field into a garden.  I had a 100x50' chunk tilled and then tarped most of it to kill the weeds.  There was a strip that the tarps came off of and I tried to plant about a 10x15' section but I couldn't keep up with all the weeds that popped back up so it turned into a weed pit.  This year I decided to dump all the chicken manure and shavings on the weed patch and cover in a tarp to compost and cook the weeds over this next year.  Then plant the sections I tarped last year that were clear.  I was going to bury a border of boards and bricks with some weed barrier cloth going several feet out to keep more weeds like the creeping charlie from sneaking back in.  I spent hours raking alot of the dead weeds into a pile so the weed seed wouldn't get mixed into my tarped areas and was going to move the tarps later this week.  I was not planning to till this garden ever again and instead make individual beds with permanent borders to keep weeds out.

Well while I was gone yesterday my landlord and neighbor decided to be helpful and till my garden while doing hers.  rolleyes   Now all that weed seed just got mixed into the rest.  There's absolutely no way I can keep it all weeded by hand and I've got tons of flowers, perennials, vegetables, etc... all planned.  Now what do I do?  I can't mulch around individual flowers and I can't keep it weeded.  Am I just out of luck and going to have to tarp it again this year and wait till next year?  Sad   
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 05:51:08 PM »

hate to give you bad news, but tarping won't do it.  weed seeds blow on the wind and you'll end up with them no matter what. 

you can use a pre-emergent spray that will keep the seeds from germinating, but it might be to late for that this year.  the spray will also keep garden seeds from germinating, but won't hurt your plants if you buy starts.
you can 'till several times to keep the weeds turned under.  this helps early, but later the weeds will pop back up.
you can get a small 'tiller like a Mantis and work it around your plants.

50x100 is not that big.  you can do it the old fashioned way with a hoe, rake, gloves, and a hand trowel.....invest in some knee pads.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
akane
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 06:00:45 PM »

Tarping works wonderfully to kill what's established.  It's the only way I can have gardens here.  If I didn't tarp I'd just have weed patches everywhere.  Without tarping it's not possible to keep it weeded because I have what's established plus the seeds that fell directly off all the established plants and so on.  After killing off what's there the blowing seeds aren't that big of deal.  There is absolutely no way I can hand weed this area.  Go try to hand weed an established field in a 100x50' space and that's what I'm dealing with.  I could sit there from morning till night pulling up grass and weeds and I'd still not manage to get to the other end before having to start over at the beginning.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 06:12:46 PM »

i have the same problem here because we get so much rain.  "stuff" just pops up all over the place. i don't plant seeds much anymore because it's to hard to tell the sprouts i want from the sprouting weeds. yes, tarping will get most of the established weeds, however many of the roots will survive and as soon as you take the tarp off, they'll sprout again.  established stuff needs to be rototilled and raked out.  then you have a choice of how to deal with the seeds left in the soil.  spray, tarp...but you'll lose a year of planting, or try to keep it weeded.

i understand your problem.  my garden is bigger than yours and used to be a cow pasture.  in spite of years of work, it is still a battle each year to stay in front of the weeds.

one thing i have done that made things easier, is to make raised beds for things like strawberries, carrots, etc.  i can manage the area better and keep better soil in there.  i have used railroad ties and done a few each year.  it's a work in progress.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
akane
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 06:47:32 PM »

Ugh I went out to look at it.  I knew I shouldn't have.  Sad  That is not tilling... I have no idea what they used but the grooves along the side go over a foot deep.  All my nice black soil is buried under hard clay and they dug up tree roots all over.  I threw out all the tree roots and sod and started raking it smooth again so it doesn't look like a plowed corn field instead of a garden plot.  I only got about 10' though.  Looks like I'm lasagna gardening and working towards raised beds.  That'll solve most of the weed problem but I hope I can build up enough good soil to plant into this year.
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alfred
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 07:19:26 PM »

   I was recently talking to a Master Gardener and she told me that I should just use RoundUp or glyphosate on such areas. That it would kill whatever is growing at the time and then becomes inert once it comes into contact with the dirt. So you can replant almost right away. She even told me that the weeds that are killed by it can even be retilled into the dirt with no ill effect. Just let the weeds grow in a little then apply the round up wait till their dead then till and plant. Just can't use it near water. I plan on becoming the Roundup king. I have a persistant Bindweed problem.

Alfred
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akane
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2009, 08:14:14 PM »

Roundup is entirely controversial and some studies have shown it can stay in the soil for many many years.  Even 10+ unlike what the company claims.  It also has alot of negative impact on the soil much the same as over tilling.  It has it's uses but I will never touch roundup unless I have to.  Just to keep the weeds down on a garden faster is not a good reason.

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1749
http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7790


While these methods may work for you guys it is not the type of gardening I want to do with my soil.
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 08:47:45 PM »

alfred, i use roundup also, but with care.  it's important not to over use it.  not to use it during the times bees are out.  it's really only good for grass, not weeds.  also, many things that are a nuisance to us in our gardens are good for the bees.  dandelions are one good example.

i use roundup under the fruit trees, around the edges of the horse arena, etc.  i'm just careful about how much and where.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 08:53:27 PM »

You could also try weed control fabric. place it down over the garden and cut a slit in where you want to plant.Or you can lay down the fabric to cover the soil between the rows of planting.It lets in air and moisture while blocking the weeds.
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doak
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 09:48:56 PM »

If you don't have to get an early start, you can let the weeds sprout and start coming up.Till. let them come up again, till, come up, till. About 3 times in spring and then it is hoe and till, if row width allows. If not, Mulch and weed. No problem. Don't expect something for a little work.
If you want to put those "chemicals" out there, go ahead and defeat the purpose of home gardening.
Don't mean to sound so nasty but it's a cruel world out here/there.
Happy gardening. rolleyes :)doak
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 10:17:49 PM »

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Till. let them come up again, till, come up, till

works well for me.

don't think i'd use roundup on the vegetable garden   Smiley
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
reinbeau
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2009, 07:34:09 AM »

Use Roundup on soil where you're going to eat the proceeds?  rolleyes  No, thank you.

Akane, the hoe is your friend.  You'll have to hoe away the seedlings.  If you've got what we call Johnson Grass, then you'll have to pull the runners.  And pull.  And pull.  Eventually the weeds will peter out.  No one likes to weed, I've got tons of them in my veggie garden, it goes with the territory.
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Romahawk
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2009, 10:06:51 AM »

It's a different way of gardening but Ruth Stout's system is all natural and after a year or two one no longer needs to worry about weeds. I don't garden much anymore but when I did her system worked well for me.

Click here For Info On The Ruth Stout Gardening System

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alfred
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2009, 01:09:31 PM »

  I didn't realize that there was some controversy about Roundup. I will have to research further. I have tried deep mulch and also covering with weed cloth stuff. The Bindweed still grows underneath in long vines untill it finds an openning, usually where I have planted something. I tried bindweed mites ordered from the state of colorado insectury but they were worthless. Till it over and it is like starfish, you simply get more. I have heard that if you keep the area tilled over for several seasons it will finaly die ,but I don't want to wait several seasons to plant.

  Maybe I will use the roundup on areas that I plan to plant flowers and not on areas that I will plant vegies. Of course then there is the girls to think of as well...
Alfred
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akane
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2009, 01:51:18 PM »

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Don't expect something for a little work.
I have a 500x1000' "yard" that was massive gardens I'm trying to recover from 30years of neglect, 200 chicks running around brooders in my house, and 5 horses and your trying to lecture me about work.  rolleyes

I was going to use weed cloth where I could but I'm not planting all things that can be measured and seperated and individually mulched or hoed.  I'm planting some patches of flowers from seed and similar with lots of different looking seedlings that will come up in a random pattern.  That would make it impossible to hoe weeds without hitting seedlings.  I don't use that many vegetables so maybe 5 tomatos and 5 peppers are about all I'll have along with the odd squash and watermelon plant.  I'm sure I'll see a random plant or 2 I like while there but all in all that amounts to one little corner of the garden.  The rest will be flower beds. 

For my herb garden I just tarped for 1 year and then divided out plots, mixed in a little compost, and planted.  I haven't had to worry about weeds for 2years and even now majority of what is growing has slipped in under my border.  It's creeping charlie, crabgrass, and others that spread by roots.  The tarping really kills everything there.  Even root systems.  It basically composts it all in place and cooks some of the seeds in the summer.  It has worked numerous times over various garden plots provided large amounts of weed seed aren't reintroduced.  Considering what was there and the amount of weed seed dropped on the tarps most likely the area has just been reseeded for a field again.

Not that it really matters now.  The clay will take at least a month if not 2 or 3 to settle back out anyway so I might as well build up a lasagna garden in that time.  I've seen nothing but bad when it comes to tilling the soil here.  My neighbors garden which gets tilled twice yearly is the worst I've seen with tons of clay and hard packed soil which she tills again cause it's hard by the next season.  We were sharing a garden and I had to just keep dumping compost on there constantly to grow anything and then she'd till it under and I'd be back to where I started.  I never gained any ground so I started my own no till garden... which just got not even tilled but plowed...
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2009, 02:57:53 PM »

For your flower beds, try a product sold by Wildflower seeds from Texas(Orec?). Spray over top of seedlings, kills weeds and grasses between wild flowers w/o harming flowers. Once tilled, I dont see any other way absent chemicals or letting it not be planted and til and til and till method. Stinks your neighbor attempting to help hurt you.
Last year, after years of battling a certain invasive plant, I just refused to let it go to seed. Hoping this year will show results. Obviously, roots are not an issue w/ this plant. I also am making two raised beds a year is now a goal. Starting w/ sterilized soil and stay ahead of weeds. Miss a week, its two to make it up. Weeds stink when you cant control them.
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kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2009, 03:15:02 PM »

akane, sounds like you have it all figured out.  good luck.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
doak
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2009, 07:01:38 PM »

Guess you don't have much to worry about then.
As for "Tilling", There are several different plows that turns the ground in different ways.
Regardless of how it is done, some people call it tilling.
If it turned the top layer under and  left the lower layer on top, then it was a "turning" plow.
This can be done for a few inches deep to over a foot deep.
The red clay type soil that ends up on top is the subsoil.
But, as I can tell, you know that.

there is so many different types of soil across the country,  it is hard to compare as to what and how  "plowing, tilling, discing" or how ever the soil is worked, or condition the soil, which ever one prefers to call it.
Of course, you know all about that too.
So there isn't much I can help you with.
Maybe these other people can give you some tips.
doak
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irerob
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2009, 09:58:33 PM »

  I'm with Buzzbee, i would use some land scape cloth this year then turn it  a few times between harvest and planting next year.
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