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I am curious how you market gardeners handle your perennial weed control? I have a garden area that I tilled up last year that has a lot of round leaf mallow, bind weed, spurge and other types of weeds. We hand weeded about three times through out the season but as soon as it got warm the weeds really took off and we could never get on top of them again. I am not sure how to kill them with out using a lot of herbicides. I will spray if I have to.

I irrigate with a sprinkler that I pump out of the ditch. Is it possible to filter the water through a screen system to help eliminate some of the weed seeds? If anyone else does this what type of filter system do you use?

Thanks in advance
Dan
zone 5
 

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I grow about 5 acres of organic vegetables for market and own use. For the 2008 growing season I tried No-till Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers on rye stubble with rye mulch. It was semi effective in weed control. I would mow between the rows to control the weeds and grasses. I also had some on conventional tilled ground that I cultivated with hand tools. For things like green beans, corn, melons and squash, I cultivate with either the tractor and cultivator, or the tiller. For small crops like radishes, collards, carrots etc, I use a hand rotary hoe (garden weasle) and a stirrup hoe. If you plant so you can mechanically cultivate, it makes life a lot easier. This year I plan to use plastic row mulch.
 

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My market garden is a little over a half acre. I use a combination of mulch and cultivation. I use black plastic for things like tomatoes and peppers. For cultivation I use a wheel hoe and stirrup hoes. I love my wheel hoe. It's probably 6-8 times faster than using a regular hoe. It's one of the best investments I've made in a long time.
 

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Repeated tillings when the plants are small will run the out of energy. The danger to that is that you can create a hard pan depending on the tiller. If there's a patch that I can't till and is too overgrown to how, we sometimes use white vinegar on a sunny dry day. Just spray it on! I've also started using pigs. The stirrup hoe is great. Mulch helps.
 

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I try not to disturb the weed bank more than once a year. Every time you turn the soil you bring seeds to the surface. By avoiding nothing deeper than the top 2" of soil I keep the new seeds at the top where they'll germ and can be killed. I plan to try AllDown this year. It's an herbicide. Fedco catalog, page 116.
 
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