ten.yssa
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Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

I let my first ever garden go without weeding pretty much all summer... I would like to try again next year but have to clear out this thick jungle entirely first.... What is the best way to do this?
Also, there will be snow on the ground in a couple weeks and I have NO time to properly pull everything out. Is it better just to let it wait until spring or should I do something now? Mow it down and smother it???
Thanks for your advice!!!

imafan26
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

At least you have snow to kill some of the weeds. I don't like to mow weeds because it does not kill the roots and if they have gone to seed they will just thank you. Pull what you can. Cover it with cardboard and a thick layer of mulch and hope for the best.

In the spring. You will have to water and let the over wintered seeds sprouts, pull up the weeds before planting again.

I have a jungle of weeds that have sprouted with all the rain.

I have no snow to kill them and I have nasties like nut sedge, bindweed, and ivy gourd, so I am resorting to round up as unless I can get a small army to help me, there is no way I can keep up with it all and they are smothering everything.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Meatburner
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

The best way is to get out there and use some elbow grease and pull the weeds. There is no "easy button" in gardening. You need to get your hands and feet dirty. Every year is different and you need to adapt to it. Weeds are a fact in gardening and you have to actually do some work. Stay after them ten.yssa.

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applestar
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

Are you in snow country where once the snow flies, the ground will be covered and frozen?

If you can expect the ground to not freeze for a while yet, then you have plenty of time. In fact some weeds will come up easier after they are killed off by frost and freeze. Just go out on warmer days and pull up what you can. It doesn't all have to be done in one day. You also don't have to PULL the weeds, just cut at the ground level if you are going to smother with the cardboard and mulch.

Cardboard and mulch, as imafan mentioned, is absolutely the simplest way if the area is small enough. You can scrounge for oversized cardboard in the mean time.

It's OK to leave the pulled/cut weeds on the ground where they will be covered by the cardboard. Just try to level the area out first. You will need to wet down the cardboard. Use buckets of water if you can't use the hose.

If you will have snowcover for much of the winter, then all you need to do is put the cardboard down and keep from blowing away with bricks or rocks, and let the snow be the mulch.

If you absolutely don't have the time to deal with the weeds -- you will have to do all of this next spring ...pull or cut down, cardboard and mulch, etc. AND it will take at least another month before the area will be ready to plant afterwards, which will delay your start and limit what you can grow successfully if you have a short growing season.
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sweetiepie
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

I have a large garden. If it was me and it got away, I would mow it so I could follow with tilling. Most of the weeds have gone to seed already here so they would scatter whether I pulled it or mowed it. We are expecting snow over Halloween here, so I would have little time for much else. I would not be able to collect enough cardboard to smother it or have enough time. Also here for me the wind has been crazy this year so getting it to stay put would be an issue. I usually do not till in the fall but I do rake up and haul out by the wheel barrow all my produce vines after a good freeze.

In the spring, I would then wait for the first layer of weeds to come up. I would not have to water because of the snow that has just melted. I would then till. I usually would not have to water because it rains quite often in the spring. If possible, I would then apply my compost/manure and wait again for the weeds to germinate and then till again and then plant.

Everywhere is so different, but if it was me living here, that is what I would do. This is what I do when I start a new section of my garden, though I think I have expanded enough now. The pantry is bursting, HaHa, maybe I should expand that.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

You can see the virtue of giving a bit more information. People are trying to help, but it is difficult not knowing where you are located or the size of garden you are talking about. Tilling is for good sized gardens. I wouldn't bother with even the smallest roto tiller for anything less than 10'x20' of garden space.
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imafan26
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

if you can't find cardboard look at the carpet centers and ask them for the carpets they are going to dispose of. A good sized carpet will smother a fairly large area.

Mowing the weeds down at least where I am is a temporary solution. It makes things look nice for a little while. But weeds seeds and mowing without killing makes perennial weeds come back with a vengeance. It is hard to keep ahead of them. I have been over the same spot over and over until I decided to cover the ground I finished so I could move on to the next section. Nut sedge survives this but at least the area I have cleaned is expanding a little. The rain makes it hard since it just gives the weeds a jump start and I cannot weed or work the soil then. Then there are life's other little problems that need attention as well and unfortunately my garden weed day is usually the casualty. I do try to schedule days that I spend in the gardens. It helps to keep from getting behind that way. Luckily, I have a friend with a truck who comes to my garden on Sundays and helps me weed and haul the weeds to the dump or composting facility. We took in 120 lbs the last time. Usually I can only fit 80 lbs in three bags in my Honda Accord for each trip.

I have already filled one green can with the curry tree and I am working on the bilimbi. I have half of it down now and I might be able to get most of it in the second can. The other stuff I will have to put in bags and haul down to the dump or composting facility myself, but my mom said I might be able to borrow my nephews truck to haul it if I have enough bags collected to make a trip. Unfortunately, I have to collect the weeds and trimmings pretty much in a couple of days or it actually gets heavier as it starts to decompose. Then there is the fact that I have my limits. I really am only productive for about 3 hours in the morning before I am too tired to do much heavy work.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

I thought of this thread today, when I saw a huge amount of cardboard in the mall, where I picked up a bunch of outgoing mail, and I park by the dumpster where they put bundles of cardboard. Inside, in the loading area, where many of the stores bring in everything through back doors, they pile their cardboard up, and it's there for the taking! Much of it is the thicker cardboard, which is good, and from huge boxes, so they make long strips of mulch. I just pull in there after work with my truck, and take what I want, come spring.
Dave

imafan26
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Re: Severely overgrown garden - HELP!

If you can find out when the stores get their deliveries then you just have to ask and they will usually be glad to give you their cardboard, rather than pay to haul it away. Best buy and Walmart are usually the best places I can get stuff. Walmart does most of the restocking at night so the cardboard is out around 5 a.m. Sometimes there's a crowd of people waiting for the boxes and styrofoam.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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