Pulling weeds after rain

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by turtlehead, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I've always preferred to pull weeds after a rain, because the ground is soft and it's easier to pull the weeds and get the roots and everything.

    But as I was out in my drippy soppy garden earlier, I thought of a passage I'd read somewhere, saying you shouldn't cultivate when it's wet because that can spread diseases. :nono:

    Should I quit pulling weeds after a rain? :shrug:
     
  2. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    I like to wait until there is a crust on the ground before even pulling weeds. They still pull easily but it makes for a nice clean job. You definitely dont want to mess around your beans when the ground is wet.
     

  3. Chris in PA

    Chris in PA Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between wet soil and that stage where the soil is soft. I prefer the "soft" stage. The weeds come up easily and the soil falls off the roots. It is a challenging stage to catch and I have been known to water the night before to create that stage for the morning.

    When I weed when it is wet, I end up muddy, I actually loss more of my good soil as it clings more, and it turns into an unpleasant experience.
     
  4. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Valent, why not mess around the beans when the ground is wet?

    I ended up muddy but that doesn't bother me. I could shake most of the soil from the weed roots and as the weeds are going into the compost I figure I'm getting back whatever soil I toss out.

    It really is best if you can catch the garden while the soil is soft but not wet, but sometimes we grab what opportunities we can. I don't want to be doing more damage than good by pulling weeds when it's too wet though.
     
  5. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    It's easier to spread disease between wet plants than dry plant. Wet soil compacts more when it's wet than dry. If you're pulling weeds before they get too big (which I don't always get to do) they should pull easily even in dry soil.

    I can't always wait for the best time to weed. If the soil is damp and the plants are dry I'm set.
     
  6. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Beans are supposed to be very easy to spread disease when the ground is wet. I am not certain if there is more to it than that but have seen it repeatedly about not tilling the beans if the ground is wet.
     
  7. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Valent. My beans are pretty happy this year (except for Japanese beetles) but I think I lost my tomatoes to late blight and my squash are getting powdery mildew.

    It has been a really wet year. Even when it wasn't raining the humidity has been at 94% or better. Just unreal.
     
  8. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    What variety(ies) of bean do you plant?
     
  9. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    I pull weeds right after a rain have done it for years.

    Pull not cultivate. Rain is the best time to divide and replant perrenials too.
     
  10. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I planted a double-row of Kentucky Wonder pole beans (also called Old Homestead) on a bed about 30' long. I've canned 34 quarts and some pints and we've had some meals and they're slowing down a lot but still flowering. Definitely growing these again next year.


    WVPeach, thanks for the comment. I think I'll keep pulling weeds after a rain (if it ever stops raining!) but not digging or anything like that.