Weeds and gardens

Anything related to growing your own food
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mrigney
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Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:45 am

Hopefully I'm not the only one w/this problem.....this is really a two problems in one post. So, I've been gardening for a while. Probably year 4 or 5. My wife and I enjoy it the process, but we also obviously enjoy the food. We don't have raised beds, mainly b/c I try to expand our garden footprint each year and have found it easier/more cost efffective to do that when I'm not constantly building new raised beds. It also lets me experiment w/different techniques (I've been exploring biontensive methods like those advocated by Elliot Coleman, Jean-Martin Fortier, etc). Given those names (Coleman, Fortier), it probably also gives away that I tend toward the organic side of gardening. I try to not use synthetics in my vegetable garden. So, on to the problems. For further reference, two years ago, my backyard was a mess of weeds. I completely resodded Memorial Day 2017. The backyard in general looks great. But...

1) My garden area is in the backyard. It didn't get resodded (obviously). And the weed problem is very apparent around the edge of my bed(s). Basically, I spray pre-e pretty close to the bed, but leave a strip of buffer. This has been overtaken by weeds, so I have this unsightly one foot or so wide ring of weeds. Any recommendations other than hand pulling? This is the smaller of the two problems (Hand pulling isn't terrible, and I can always just keep them mowed).

2) W/in the garden area itself I am constantly battling weeds. I bring in good compost every year, I try to stay on top of the weeds (e.g. right now I'm out there multiple times a week w/a stirrup hoe trying to get them gone before I even see them). But inevitably, as soon as I travel for a week during the summer, or we hit a rainy period where we can't get out there and work, the weeds start to swallow up everything. How do you battle this in your garden? I obviously don't want to spray Celsius or round-up (or whatever) in the garden. Flame weeder? What's the answer here?

Looking forward to seeing what other folks are doing.

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TheTurfTamer
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by TheTurfTamer » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:49 pm

Image

Not sure how big your garden it, but I killed the grass, covered it with 4 inches of mulch and then did a concrete border. This has reduced my weeds by 99%.
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booneatl
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by booneatl » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:47 pm

Wood chips from a tree service are usually free and easy to come by. Several inches and this will help and they break down naturally. You could also put newspaper or cardboard down first and then cover with wood chips or mulch . These will also break down naturally.

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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by Crabbychas » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:20 am

It's probably the compost. Some parts of my garden have very minimal weeds, some it's like a groundcover, and I can tell it's the compost because I have been expanding my garden in stages so different areas that got different batches of compost have hugely different amounts and types of weeds. Sometimes you just get a bad batch. But I would definitely recommend mulch. Even a thin 1 inch layer will help tremendously.

mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:34 pm

Supposed it could be the compost. I suspect I need to do something similar to @Aawickham78 to really defeat the issue. Since I leave some space around the garden area w/o spraying pre-emergent, I think a lot of my weed pressure in the beds ends up coming from that surrounding skirt. Probably need to get heavy mulch down over my entire garden area and then delineate that from the yard somehow (right now they kind of run together). Probably would go some route other than a concrete border just b/c I"m constantly tinkering w/size and shape of the garden, but that is probably the right direction. That'll also be a loooot of mulch (I'd guess somewhere around 10 cu yards).

mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:01 pm

So my original post was about my vegetable garden. Here's another example, though. Over the last couple of years, I've created a garden bed along my back fence. It's some mix of "perennial food bed" and flower/landscaped bed. It has a variety of plants. Blueberries, sorrel, strawberries, cut flower area, fig, plum tree, various bulbs, etc. I have been so focused on getting the yard ready that I have neglected this bed and the weeds are completely out of control. I got to work on it yesterday and worked on the cut flower area. Got it relatively weed free, but they will of course come back if I don't do anything.
Image

I think I'm just going to go with @Aawickham78 and lay down a thick layer of mulch (after removing the weeds). Will probably take a ton, but at this point, gotta do something. Any advice?

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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by TheTurfTamer » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:15 am

You need to install some type of edging all around garden. Next to the neighbors fence, I would get steel edging and hammer it in or purchase fenceguard. This will help hold the mulch in as well as keep his weeds out. I used metal at my last house and it worked great !

https://www.etfenceguard.com/product/fence-guard/
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mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:29 am

@Aawickham78 I agree with you. Honestly...this entire area (I'll see if I can take a video of it and post it here after work today) has been one of my best ideas with worst executions I've ever had, I think. 3 years ago, my yard was generally crap. Now most of the yard looks pretty decent (certainly better than average)...so I thought time to start adding landscaping...and you see what the result has been. Ha. If you notice (and I took that picture before weed eating) I did try to put in some cheap plastic edging along the front. Along the fence line has always been a problem....let's say that my neighbor doesn't share my lawn enthusiasm:-)

Hadn't seen the fence guard that you linked to. I think I might have to order some today.

I know you went with the concrete edge on yours. If you don't mind me asking, about how much did that cost per linear foot? Not sure how economical it would be as my total perimeter for that bed is about 85'. If you weren't going to go w/a concrete edge, second choices (I also suppose this has transformed from gardening to landscaping, so if mods think it should be moved over there, go ahead).

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TheTurfTamer
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by TheTurfTamer » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:36 pm

Its $7.00 a foot installed ,stained, stamped and sealed. I had a total of 412 feet installed front and back.
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mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:41 pm

That's actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Guess I didn't really have a reference to work off of. Who did you get to do it? Someone out of Athens?

mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:37 pm

@TheTurfTamer After getting stuck overnight in Charlotte on my way home from a work trip, I put the nice day to use and tried to start taming that unruly bed in the back. I'm going to do something like you suggested along my chain link fence. In the mean time, I took a hoe and some elbow grease to the weeds and cleared them out. Took advantage of Lowe's sale on mulch and put down a couple of cubic yards today. Was enough to get a nice 30 foot chunk of the bed mulched. Looks way better. We'll see how it holds up and what kind of weed pressure I get. But felt like I had do do something asap even if it's not perfect or else I would end up losing the bed.

https://postimg.cc/qtNJTYNH
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by Miggity » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:40 pm

You could use comfrey along the garden borders to stop the grasses from encroaching on the garden. Comfrey doubles as a chop and drop mulch/fertilizer but read up on it before planting as it is hard to remove if you change your mind. Choose a sterile variety such as Bocking 14 so the comfrey is only able to spread by root splitting and not by seed.

mrigney
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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by mrigney » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:23 am

@Miggity If I turned around from where I'm taking that picture, you'd see the rest of the bed. It curves around w/the fence and comes to an end w/a plum tree. Around the plum tree, I actually have several Bocking 14 comfrey plants, so I'm familiar with it. It almost seems like it would be large (unless I chop and drop a whole lot) for the border and would obscure other plants. For this season, I think I will probably end up dealing w/the fenceline on the back (per @TheTurfTamer 's suggestion) and deal w/the front border next year. Only so many projects I can handle per year:-)

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Re: Weeds and gardens

Post by BXMurphy » Tue May 21, 2019 4:43 pm

You have a 10-year supply of weed seeds in your soil. Till or no till (I prefer no till as it is easier and some say better for earth creatures). Glysophate as soon as weed #1 comes up very early spring. Keep at it until two weeks before planting. It gets much more manageable after the first year or two.

I have seen farmers solarize/sterilize ground with black plastic to superheat and kill seeds.

Hoeing still necessary no matter what. Even more so going whole organic route.
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