J-veg
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

weeding the vegetable garden...

... is something I haven't been keep up with now that the hot, damp swampy weather of southern Ontario has arrived.

My veggies are all pretty big and seem to be rocking along just fine so I'm not too worried if I just keep with my casual weeding practice of pulling them when they get to be about as tall as the width of my hand.

Now a good friend of mine is meticulous in his weeding, but he grows giant pumpkins and is a little crazy...

I figured I'd ask all of you since he and I disagree about how important it is....

So, how often do you weed your vegetable garden? and am I doing it wrong if I take a relaxed attitude towards it?

User avatar
BlakeeBoo
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: Ohio

Unless they are hurting your plants they really are not that much of a problem. Some weeds can actually be helpful, some put nutrients into the soil that the veggies take out. I actually like your method it gives them enough time to put in some nutrients into the soil but not shade out your plants.
"Being right isn't near as much fun if someone isn't wrong."

B.T.E.

505zoom
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:06 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM

I see no reason to let the weeds grow at all and soak up any nutrients that my plants might use, so I try to pull them as soon as they can actually be grabbed (1" or so). If you get a little behind or have a large area that is hard to keep on top of, I would suggest to at least pull any weeds that pop up close to any of your plants.

User avatar
rootsy
Green Thumb
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

I generally weed the day after a rain. The ground isn't too wet and the weeds pull easy from the root system up.

If I don't keep on top of them they seem to get away from me.. but then again I have quite a bit of area to cover...

Once most of the vining plants are off and spreading well they keep most of the weeds at bay...

Black plastic or mesh or a good heavy layer of straw will do the job too.

I try not to break out the rototiller any more than I have to... I prefer to keep moisture in the ground...

User avatar
BlakeeBoo
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: Ohio

It is really easy to weed after a good watering too it softens up the soil so you get the roots and all instead of them breaking of at the top of the soil.
"Being right isn't near as much fun if someone isn't wrong."

B.T.E.

DARK505
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:47 am
Location: Rio Rancho NM

I let my weeds run rampant, well not really rampant but i had a few morning glories and a ton of grass and thorn weeds (idk what they are called) and my garden did ok... but ive recently weeded the majority of it and the ones that have had the weeds pulled are doing much better than the ones where there are still weeds. If you are going to let your weeds grow a bit i would try to keep the weeds away from the base of your plants, so the nutrients are still going to the plants you want them to go to...

User avatar
Jess
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: England

Like most things it depends on the weeds. Some are beneficial in various ways and some can infect or take nutrients from your crops.
I owned a book years ago with lots of useful information on weeds and their uses and benefits. Unfortunately after spending years in my pocket out in the garden it fell to pieces but I remember some of the information.

If you have a plant that is too nitrogen rich (foliage no fruit) grow grass around it. It will use up the nitrogen.
Dandelions are good for deterring armyworms and help weaker plants develop a good root system in heavy soils.
Dock also breaks up heavy soils.
Wild mustard protects predators.
Purslane prevents soil erosion
Hairy bittercress the most pernicious of annual weeds can be eaten so I harvest it along with veges.

I tend to remove too many of anything and any weed growing right next to a plant but leave the rest unless a weed looks sick. I also pick off any flower heads within reach.
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

J-veg
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

Cool! I didn't think it was the big deal. My crazy friend seemed to think I was nuts for letting the weeds go until I think their too big or too close to my plants...

He actually used roundup on his pumpkin patch to kill the weeds a week before the vines reached them, which apparently is how all the giant pumpkin growers do it... seems absolutely insane to me but then I grow for taste not size.... Anyone know any giant fruit and veg growers? it's more science experiment then gardening....

I actually weeded quite a bit yesterday as we had some rain two days ago and the ground was nice and soft. Most of the "weeds" I pulled was just grass that re-rooted since this is the first year that most of my garden isn't grass..

I'm growing sweet pumpkins and sugarshaw melons and I find that if I just pull the weeds as the vines creep along the soil is nice and loose which I believe helps the vine take root a lot easier

edit: my spelling is bad

User avatar
Jess
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: England

Roundup anywhere near something I am going to eat just seems crazy!
I do think some 'gardeners' become quite anal about how their veges look rather than how they taste. Give me an organically grown, two pronged carrot any day over a beautifully straight, insipid tasting, blasted with every chemical known to man, carrot :lol:

The big thing in my neighbourhood is the super long, fat leek. I have seen them grown through drainage pipes, carpet tubes etc. with a regime of added fertilisers that would confuse a chemist! They look incredible but I doubt they taste of much.
My FIL grows giant onions but they are a particular variety that grow large, nothing he does to them and they taste delicious!
I bet your pumpkins will taste delicious and you know there is nothing on them that ends in 'cide'
Btw I see no problem with your spelling!
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

I get crazy about the weeds and go at them every am and pm. This morning I lost my temper while weeding a dense area of corn. A particularly aggressive weed broke in my hand without the root coming out. I was unable to find the root and went after all weeds in sight. Unfortunately, I snapped off a next generation corn start. I think I needed to stop weeding earlier. I find casual weeding to be peaceful and therapeudic but this was a big job and I had hit my limit. The corn had to be thoroughly weeded since I was putting out a layer of compost for fertilizing the potential husks.

My 'having done almost nothing' housemate had the nerve to tell me the garden needed to be weeded. I have only lewd words to express my exasperation and discust with his naivete and gross ignorance. He complained that I have a no-fly zone over the garden. When I comes to him, my garden is quarantined.

User avatar
Reptilicus
Cool Member
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:23 pm
Location: So. Georgia, USA

I just put a lot of pine straw (from the abundant trees I have) in my garden. I use soaker hoses as well. I cover the soaker hoses with the straw and it helps to keep the moisture in and the weeds out. I have some clay and in this So. Georgia heat itll bake it until its like a brick.

J-veg
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

Jess,

he can't eat his giant pumpkins anyway because of all the systemic pesticides used to keep the squash vine borer and powdery mildew away...


I think next year I will explore covering with straw/mulch/etc...

Gary B
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:19 am
Location: Pretoria, South Africa

I poke around the veggie garden every week or so and pull out any bigger ones, I'll also sometimes, just dig up some soil around the plants to see if there are any others growing underneath.

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I take great delight in digging up taprooted weeds with my "weed stick" aka dandelion weeder aka forked stick aka I don't know what else.

I have noticed many fewer dandelions, red-stem filaree, spotted spurge, Star Thistle, etc., this month relative to January of this year. Can only hope the trend continues...

Now for the oxalis, when it re-emerges in October...

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9/Sunset Zone 17

Trentt
Full Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Wisconsin

I weed thoroughly and comprehensively 2 or 3 times at the beginning of the season so that my vegetables become the large, dominant plants overshadowing any weeds that sprout thereafter. After the first or second weeding - when the seeds I've sown or seedlings I've transplanted have reached a few inches in height - I put down mulch and thereafter weed casually to remove any giants or flowering weeds.

So after the beginning of July I do little weeding and just wait for harvest.

I don't do any mechanical cultivation or herbicide application at all. I HATE Round-Up!

User avatar
rootsy
Green Thumb
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

I hate Round-up too... it has no residual control... and it is non-selective...

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”