sea of weeds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Jesus Saves, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Jesus Saves

    Jesus Saves Well-Known Member

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    My garden is overrun with weeds and grass. It was fertilized last year with horse manuer and my husband shot grass into it with the mower. You cant even see dirt anymore. I have hoed and hoed and pulled to no avail. What can I do to get it ready for next year so it doesnt do this. My plants are doing ok right now. Is there a way to winterize a garden? I am in central Illinois. thanks
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need to stop the weeds from getting worse, and that might mean mowing them around the perimeter of the garden and between rows, pulling weeds, and hoeing. Then I would mulch with straw or seed-free grass clippings, maybe with sheets of newspaper under the mulch. That would help prevent more weeds from coming up. You need to start hoeing and weeding before the weeds are hardly visible, and keep it up.
    We try to mulch our garden with newspaper covered with grass, hay and straw, and try to get this done as soon after the tomatoes and peppers are planted as we can. You are a few weeks ahead of us, I suspect, as we are in west-central Wisconsin.
    A 7 year old should be able to help you weed, and that will be good experience for them in identifying weeds and crop plants--just don't expect too long of attention span from a kid.
    In the fall, after you harvest, you could plant a cover crop like rye or oats. I like oats, because it will grow in the cool fall weather, but will winterkill so you don't have lots of oats growing again in the spring. Rye will grow in the fall and start growing again in the spring. In the spring, till under the cover crop a bit before planting.

    Jim
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    you might try burning them off with a torch,such as the propane types like sold by northern tool that will kill the weeds and the roots plus the seeds.
     
  4. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    If it's waay fargone and you can't do all the turning, then cover it up with black plastic trash bags and let the heat kill the weeds out. Hoeing doesnt work that well because the roots just get stronger to re-establish the plant and make them harder to pull. Pull them up from around the plants you have so the decomposing plant material doesn't rob your plants of nitrogen. When your plants are big enough the weeds don't grow so well from the shade of the good garden plants.

    Don't let anything go to seed! My way to do it because all those weeds can be beneficial to add organics to the soil and enrich the soil I just turn it over and over again. The prickly weeds or those that are turning to seed I remove by hand but the rest can stay! Certain weeds germinate or go to seed at different times of year, seeds can remain viable for years, and seeds can be exposed to the surface to germinate again so just turn over and over and use those organics :) Never let the weeds germinate pluck the seed tops off if you have to.
     
  5. Jesus Saves

    Jesus Saves Well-Known Member

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    thanks everyone. It is so bad my husband mowed between the rows. I just looks like we have a garden in the yard in the middle of the grass! Oh well. So do I just till it up again and again after harvest?
     
  6. Jesus Saves

    Jesus Saves Well-Known Member

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  7. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll try to explain how we gardened so that we didn't have weeds.

    We covered the entire garden with black plastic in spring. Didn't till, didn't do nothing. We kept the plastic down with old boards and old tires AND we also used three foot long pieces of wire, bent on the ends nd stuck into the ground through the plastic. (Keeping the plastic down is the hardest part of this sort of gardening.)

    We then put in the garden, cutting three inch slits, again using wire to keep them down. we planted our garden that way and then stuck the garden hose under the plastic to water it well. The watering took days as we trickled it in several places.

    No weeding except around the seedlings and the heat of the plastic killed the weeds and weed seeds underneath. After a few years of that the garden had bearly any weeds in it. Of course, some seeds came in with fertilizing.
     
  8. Jesus Saves

    Jesus Saves Well-Known Member

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  9. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use cardboard to kill weeds. I put cardboard down the walkways then when I plant I put shredded paper around the plants after they are up and in less danger from cutworms and slugs. The few weeds that come through are easy to pull.
     
  10. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    That's sort of like soil sterilization...mostly it's done with black plastic that completely covers the ground and is weighted down. It's left like thta for several months to kill anything that even thinks of germinating.

    I think the sure fire way to get rid of weeds forever is to start eating them. Once they figure out they are usefull and not a burden, they'll stop growing. :eek: