shood2
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:55 pm

What do you do with the weeds in the garden

Besides pulling any other ideas, chemicals or home grown weed killer. Everyone's input is greatly appreciated. Garden size about 30ft by 30ft.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

weed control

There are lots of different kinds of gardeners here, but as a forum, we really don't advocate use of chemicals. They are exceedingly destructive in the environment.

The traditional thing in a plot like that is just to till all the weeds under. If it's very weedy, you might need to do it a couple times--till, then wait 2-3 weeks for all the seeds you turned up to sprout and do it again. Then either mulch well or plant a cover crop, to keep the weeds from coming back too readily.

Or you can do sheet mulching (type that into the Search the Forum feature and find lots that's been written about it). You basically smother all the weeds by laying down thick layers of newspaper or something. Then you put soil down on top of that which you can plant into. Eventually the newspaper all breaks down and you have a nice weed free planted bed.

Solarize your weeds (again, all of these and "weed control" are topics you will find alot about if you search) by putting down plastic and letting them cook under it (you didn't say where in the world you are gardening, this works better in hot sunny months).

Torch them: https://www.nextag.com/torch-weed/search-html

Pour boiling water on them.

Treat them with vinegar or a water and dish detergent solution.

The main thing is once you have gotten rid of the weeds, MULCH WELL.

If your planting beds are well mulched you will see very few weeds and weeding will become way more manageable.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7453
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I too prefer to keep chemicals out of the garden. Tilling is good before planting. Shallow cultivation is good after the plants are up and the weeds are small. Pulling them, and weeding close around the plants with something like a butcher knife works here. I just leave the weeds on the garden as mulch after being pulled.

If you can keep the weeds from going to seed, you will have lots less weeds next year. Here, that is a hopeless battle because I irrigate with water from a canal and all sorts of weeds grow along the canal and the seed falls into the water. I just figure that pulling weeds is part of the game of gardening. It is easier to get them when they are small.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

shood2
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:55 pm

Thank you

I did pull this past year but didn't till as much as I could have. I didn't think chemicals were the way to go and appreciate your comments.

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

As a forum? Around here a handful of organic posters drive off people who are open minded enough to discuss horticulturally accepted inorganic practices, which is why noone is going to mention safe ways to use Roundup or anything else.

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: N. California

i feed weeds to the chickens, or compost them, or use them as mulch, or eat some of them ( a lot of weeds are actually eatable, dandelion for example)
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

TFA303
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:40 pm
Location: Zone 7

I'm not opposed to using herbicides, but for me, raised beds solve so many problems that weeds haven't been an issue.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

TZ -OH6 wrote:As a forum? Around here a handful of organic posters drive off people who are open minded enough to discuss horticulturally accepted inorganic practices, which is why noone is going to mention safe ways to use Roundup or anything else.
Sorry you feel that way, TZ. But yes, I think that all of us moderators of this forum are pretty committed to organic gardening as a philosophy. If you click on the Gardening Articles above, the first page that comes up has a huge headline:

Growing Organic Fruit Trees
The advantages to growing fruit organically are obvious in the first bite. Your own organic fruit ...

So I don't think I am out of line to suggest that there is a viewpoint that is overall that of this forum. On the other hand, I was careful to specify that we do have all kinds of gardeners here. We do try to keep it a friendly place for anyone to talk about the kind of gardening they do (although I understand that some of us "organocultists" --a description somebody used -- are pretty passionate about it). If you would like to recommend safe use of Roundup, feel free.

As a matter of fact I have posted that I still do use Roundup occasionally, mainly for the poison ivy, to which I'm quite allergic, so I can't just pull it or anything. I'm switching to glyphosate generic, to avoid some of the "inert" ingredients in Roundup which are also harmful and I use it less all the time, but I have not totally sworn off yet.

For shood... if you want to use poisons, glyphosate is generally recommended as being not too persistent in the environment. Also there are organic herbicide (weed killer) products such as [url=https://www.naturesavenger.com/Products/OrganicWeedKiller/tabid/66/Default.aspx]Nature's Avenger[/url] and Weed-a-Tak that are citrus oil based. The Weed-a-Tak is citrus oil with clove oil, cinnamon oil and lecithin as an emulsifier. This suggests that you could make a homemade version.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7453
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Have you tried the new one called: Hoe, Hoe, Hoe?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Re: What do you do with the weeds in the garden

shood2 wrote:Besides pulling any other ideas, chemicals or home grown weed killer. Everyone's input is greatly appreciated. Garden size about 30ft by 30ft.
I'm not sure whether yours is "large enough" for this idea, but a little investigating will find out if this resource is available in your area.

All along the West Coast, there are herds of goats kept commercially for brush control and weed abatement. They come into a given location for 1 day, 2 days, or whatever the goat-keeper / brush-control company estimates will be needed to get the brush/weeds down to nubs. The goats are brought with a human goat-keeper and a Border Collie or other herding dog and (most important!) a portable fence.

They eat the weeds down and are moved along the requested path until the job is done. There is no danger of spark-generating equipment causing a fire (as happened in Santa Barbara County earlier this year), but there can be some spectator value when the goats are clearing weeds from near the freeway.

Maybe a couple of goats for a day or two would get your weeds down to ground level and then you could smother the sprouts? No pulling at all!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
!potatoes!
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1911
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

^ and a bit of fresh manure in the bargain too, i'd bet ^

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Goats Huh! That's a new one, well the renting of them for weeding is at least a new one. :lol:

User avatar
pharmerphil
Senior Member
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:13 am
Location: Minnesota

:lol: Jalu_ut..Hoe-hoe-hoe :lol: now that's funny

I never have used chemicals IN the garden, now We live out where every weed seed known to man blows in from the vast farm fields surrounding Us, hence, we get alot of weeds, primarily Canadian thistle, burdock, lambs quarter, and pig weed...
IN the garden, all that appear are Hoe Hoe Hoe'd...and composted.
(some of the young lamb's quarters end up in my salad bowl)

Weeds have much deeper and far ranging root systems than garden plants and bring up many nutrients NOT available to your garden plants...which contributes to your compost.

That being said...I too have in the past used roundup, NOT in or even near the garden..I try to keep the large stands of burdock down around the perimeter of the yard, because they sure mess up your pets fur...

The Un-sprayed Burdock sometime gets dug for the roots, Which I brew into tea for my health

and the thistle hurt your bare feet...However...the birds like the seed, so some, not all (to farmers dismay) is saved in an area

So I chop, hoe and mow for the most part...but there is times and areas that a little roundup is used, with care, and scrutiny

Neighborhood Gardening
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:26 pm
Location: Cape Cod

You could try mulched alfalfa hay. I use this all 4 seasons now. I buy the bales and mulch them with my mower. I cover the surface of my growing area with a couple inches of it. It will block the sunlight and reduce weed growth. It will have the benefit of retaining moisture reducing the need to water and will biodegrade into the soil providing nitrogen.

I did less weeding this year on 15+ raised beds using this alfalfa hay than I did the previous year on 3 raised beds with no mulch.
My experience trying to live off the land - https://www.neighborhoodgardening.com

Bl Blue
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:45 pm
Location: sw/ mn z 4

:) Well I had such a weed problem I was going to quit gardening. Then this spring decided to build two raised beds for square foot gardens. Weeds are no longer a problem. I still have weeds but control is easy. I now am going to expand . What fun, no hoeing, no more gas tiller. I just love it I now compost, mulch and grow. Best of luck to you.

Curt :)
Lets all try to be a little greener

MysticGardener67
Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:31 am
Location: Lexington KY

nothing works better than

A nice 3-4 inch deep layer of mulch.. Straw (but do NOT use HAY, it is full of weed seeds!), hardwood mulch, rotted sawdust , good compost, salt marsh hay if available. I know gardeners who recycle carpet scraps or cardboard as mulchin materials

If you are starfting a new garden, then there are couple of ways to go. I wouldn't reccomend a wholesale spraying of herbicides.. It is not the responsible thing to do. Herbicides are a tool of absolute last resort.

Pull the big weeds by hand, use a shovel if you need to. Dandilions and Burdock have deep yet brittle taproots and can resprout from even the tiniest pieces. get all the root! As for the rest, you can kill them off by either overheating them or depriving them of light.

I have learned that the most effective way to do this is by layying down the thick black plastic sheeting often sold as a weed control product. Umm.. Check your local hardware giant, lowes, Homedepot and the like. While you are there, you will need to find something called "sod staples" these are just what they sound like, oversized wire staples that were first used to achor down sections of turf sod. They work really well to secure lots of other things to the ground.

Roll out the blacjk plastic, secure with the sod staples and wait about 2 months. The plastice will starve the young plants of air, deprive them of moisture and sunlight and the solar heating will make it all work that much faster.

After the solariztion of the plot, you can pull up the staples and reuse them later ( I like using them to anchor irrigation lines) and fold up the plastic for reuse as well.

lightly till the soil no more than 6 inches, plant then apply the mulch. Again nice deep 3-4 inch layer.

Your garden will not be weed free... HOWEVER you will be spending far less time weeding and the weeds you do find will be much easier to control



Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”