Charlie MV
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carpet

We are losing the weed battle. If I roll out jute backed carpet and build raised beds atop them do I have a chance of gaining the upper hand on my very prolific weeds and more invasive flowers?

What's the down side?

I can get truckloads of used carpet from a floor sanding friend...

tomc
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As long as you understand that some seeds are air disbursed, and will after a while grow on top of the carpet. And have the back-power to replace wet funky carpet.

It will do for a while as a light barrier.
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DoubleDogFarm
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Charlie,

Unless it's a all natural carpet, that with decompose away, I don't like the idea. If it is synthetic on jute you will be add more to your plastic problem. Either long strands or millions of short pieces.

Clarify raised beds, mounded up soil or wood sides? Here again, I would want something that will decompose and not block the root zone.

Cardboard and mulch are my first choice. I will even suggest a thick layer of wood chips. Wood chips will lock up nitrogen and I believe this is a good thing on the surface. Don't mix them in.

Eric

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applestar
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You think so, too, Eric?
I wanted to say cardboard and mulch but Charlie is talking about a much larger area than I'm used to managing so I wasn't 100% sure.

My second thought was to keep the pathways seeded with dynamic accumlator and nitrogen fixer mulching covercrops -- I.e. let them grow there instead of weeds, then cut and use as mulch in the paths and in the beds.

DoubleDogFarm
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applestar wrote:You think so, too, Eric?
I wanted to say cardboard and mulch but Charlie is talking about a much larger area than I'm used to managing so I wasn't 100% sure.

My second thought was to keep the pathways seeded with dynamic accumlator and nitrogen fixer mulching covercrops -- I.e. let them grow there instead of weeds, then cut and use as mulch in the paths and in the beds.
I'm not sure how large Charlie's garden is. My roughly 4000sqft garden is mostly manageable with carboard and heavy mulch.

My 2500sqft (one day 5000sqft) area outside the fence I would like to try roller crimping cover crops. Then you plant into the cover crop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW4mwVJPS9A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=H6ecUbanCB4

Eric

Charlie MV
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Our garden is 5000sf. I tried solarizing with very expensive clear plastic and got a shredded mess for my efforts along with weeds and grass that thought my efforts hilarious.

Where can I come up with affordable cardboard? I don't think I can use it if it has slick color finish. We need a ton of cardboard. I'm really close to just returning to buying at the local farmers markets.

DoubleDogFarm
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Charlie MV wrote:Our garden is 5000sf. I tried solarizing with very expensive clear plastic and got a shredded mess for my efforts along with weeds and grass that thought my efforts hilarious.

Where can I come up with affordable cardboard? I don't think I can use it if it has slick color finish. We need a ton of cardboard. I'm really close to just returning to buying at the local farmers markets.
The hell you say!

I stop at our local freight company. They are glad to send me home with a pick-up load of cardboard. The refrigerator boxes alone are 7ft wide and 10 - 12ft long. Go to your local big box stores, hardware stores, equipment rental yards. Many places get shipments in large cardboard boxes.

Keep the plastic out of your garden. Solarizing takes up way to much time and it doesn't work anyway.

If you are willing to use a little gasoline, scalp all weeds with a line trimmer. Then cover with cardboard and mulch.

Eric

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applestar
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Roller crimping -- I've seen that technique before and have been wondering how that could be scaled down. I was thinking modified turf rollers that a person could push around, but I've no idea how that could be done easily

Charlie, do you live anywhere near colleges and universities? This time of the year, thousands of new and returning students bring their stuff in basically plain cardbord shipping boxes. Sometimes they buy new ones at U haul and mailbox stores. I wonder what they do with them all after the students all move in?

If you don't need the cardboard to break down any time soon, appliance boxes are triple- and sometimes quadruple- layered. The installers take them back with them for you but they must take them somewhere.

ETA -- Ah, there you go! Eric has the answers. :wink:

DoubleDogFarm
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Not sure I have the answers. I'm just suggesting a few ideas that have and have not worked for me.

Eric

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applestar
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I meant about where to get the vast quantities of cardboard, but you do have good ideas. :wink:

Charlie MV
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K, thanks to all. Our town has no big box stores except Walmart. I will talk to them. The liquor store tosses boxes but they are small.

Fertility in soil is a double edge sword.

I have gotten to the point where the stand up food is all I want to mess with. I will really have to think about whether I want to go to the expense of building a meaningful amount of raised beds for the low hanging stuff. We are fitness people but both of us are starting to have issues with stooping for long periods. We can walk, kayak and swim for miles and we both lift but the garden work is taking it's toll.

I am happy to be waved off about the carpet because the solarizing was an unmitigated disaster. I'll have to do raised beds with hardware cloth because the moles ate every tater we grew.

Eric, I had to recalculate. We have a 30x100 patch, a 30x30 patch, a 30x40 patch and 5 linear areas that are 60x5. We also have nasty little fire ants everywhere. I think a lot of our problem is that we didn't have a winter last year. I think it froze 4 times. Bugs need a good winter here to slow them down.

Maybe after we sell the boat I'll feel differently but right now there isn't enough of us to go around and in 3 months we're moving a 92 year old in with us. It's been a long time since I painted every room, closet, cabinet and trim in an entire house but I just did. It was just faster to do it while the rooms were empty for renovation. I'd like to be 40 again....

Bobberman
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I posted on this topic but it never showed up! i have been using carpet for years in my garden. I always turn the back up which is usually burlap! I usually do not plant on top of it but us it betweet the rows or when I make a raised bed with land scape timbers I set the timber on the edge of the carpet. The carpet is under the timber to its inside edge. This stops all the weeds from coming up around the timber!
+++
I use carpets in the wooded areas near my garden long the paths to keep out the weeds. I also like the green grass outdoor carpets which I put the green side up. I tear alot of old porches ff that are still useable in the garden! Snakes and mice l;ove to move around under carpets and after its been down for a year you will see all the holes and snake type marks are through the dirt! Carpet under the dirt 6 inches will dry out the dirt and not deteriate for many years! I must have 200 yards of carpet in the garden area. I burn carpet every week I get that much used! I have been installing carpet for 53 years!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
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I burn carpet every week I get that much used!
:twisted:

I'm glad you are down wind of Washington

Eric

Bobberman
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carpet does not smoke much. There is a neighbor that burn auto parts and the smoke is terrible. I burn cardboard foam pad which is a oil that does smoke at all. Lots of limbs. we can only burn on saturday and I am pretty far from homes. I never burn leaves like some people who smoke up everything and waste compost material!
Last edited by Bobberman on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DoubleDogFarm
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and 18% of the US population think that the Sun revolves around the Earth. :(

Eric

Bobberman
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The more I watch politics the more I believe it!
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Charlie MV
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Whoosh... :shock:

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susanapics
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Charlie, this is just an afterthought but if you have a CVS drug store in your area, they have a special dumpster just for cardboard (to recycle) which is usually accessible. When I moved I got all my boxes from there, an office supply place and an auto parts store. The auto parts guys were thrilled because apparently I saved them a trip to the dump. Good luck.

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GardenRN
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Charlie, your friend that sands floors,......If he also installs, a lot of wood flooring comes in boxes. Prefinished flooring does anyways. One job would easily give you a good pile of boxes, and flattened out they are 7' long x about 3' wide. Just a thought.

...And they are never glossy...
Jeff

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Failure is only a fact when you give up.

Charlie MV
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I really appreciate the suggestions. If February rolls around and think I can face another summer I'll find cardboard. I'm not interested in gardening unless we can load two freezers and eat it all year. I just haven't the interest in a small garden. I'd rather buy from locals for freezing use the extra time and money I save to take dancing lessons.

I we decide to continue I'll be putting in a serious number of raised beds. It sounds like cardboard on the ground under the beds along with hardware cloth bottoms and cardboard walkways covered in mulch will be the plan. I can still til and plant tall plants with brown paper in the rows.

I really appreciate the suggestions on digging up cardboard. We're doing a substantial renovation so I'll have contact with appliance sellers, flooring guys and a few others who may be sources.

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GardenRN
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:and 18% of the US population think that the Sun revolves around the Earth. :(

Eric
It's amazing the things some well educated, professional people don't know. Sometimes it's like they taught a person everything they needed to know to be a doctor, but forgot to teach him to tie his shoes.

I wonder what I don't know that I think I do...
Jeff

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Failure is only a fact when you give up.

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rainbowgardener
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In one of our class discussions while I was working on my PhD, it became apparent that one of my classmates wasn't understanding the context because he didn't know that Egypt was part of Africa.

I thought that was a pretty big gap in knowledge for someone who already had 6 yrs of higher education, not that it was particularly relevant to the field of study.
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Bobberman
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I play trivia every day on my forum! I am suprised how bad i do even in science and math and how much I forgot! I never was a fast reader so time wise I usually loose but the slower I go the more I learn! The internet brings everything to you in a instant so most things are at your finger tips. I guess common sense is better most of the time than a phographic memory! when i went to college the slide rule was being used and the computer was not even considered. the best thing is common sense and some knowledge!
+++
Burning carpet or land fill which is the worse of two evils! I guess there two or three ways of looking at everything and common sense makes the decission not always a one sided conviction!! Maybe i will call my solar greenhouse the common sense greenhouse because that is what it is and it works for me!
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rainbowgardener
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Yup, one of the presents I got to go away to college was my own slide rule! :D No one under probably 40 knows what they are.
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Burning carpet or land fill which is the worse of two evils! I guess there two or three ways of looking at everything and common sense makes the decission not always a one sided conviction
:? I'm not grasping your meaning. How is burning garbage and common sense related?

Eric

Bobberman
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I do get some nice carpet but most of it is filthy & with pet smell. I do give used carpet to people whoneed it when I can.
I burn once a week and one of the main reasons is it saves me money and time in a out in the woods area! Its something how a post can be transfered into a debate about something in the post that has nothing to do with the meaning or reason for the original post! Mark me down as a disgrace to the enviroment and global warming?. Anything I can compost i do not burn!
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DoubleDogFarm
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A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.


Eric

Bobberman
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I guess I feed the cats more than the dogs!
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DoubleDogFarm
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Be well, bobberman.


Eric

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