Weed free first garden?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by missyinohio, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. missyinohio

    missyinohio Well-Known Member

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    I am hoping for some suggestions. We have a garden spot. My husband will till it, then we'll end up getting lots of rain before I can plant. By the time I am ready it is completely covered in weeds Mainly that low to the ground stickery type. He usually mows then tills again. Is there anything I can put on the plot to kill the weed completely before planting that won't harm the seeds or emerging vegetables? How about at the end of the growing season, can I put roundup on it to kill everything and will it all be washed away by the following spring? I really need help with this because this area gets so weed infested that I simply can't keep up with it. Or should I just have him till it and then lay the black plastic down and plant through holes in the plastic?
     
  2. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Mulch, mulch mulch. And then some mulch. :) You can use newspapers, then put most anything on top of it. Hay (this can add weed seeds to your garden, so you are kind of making a commitment to continue to mulch), straw, ect. This will de-ugly, and keep the paper from flying off. If it is at all windy while you are laying down the newspaper, wet it down first, or you will end up cussing it. You could also do the black plastic, but an organic mulch will break down and improve your soil.
     

  3. missyinohio

    missyinohio Well-Known Member

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    So then you poke down through the mulch to plant your seeds? At the end of the growing season do you till everything in, or just leave it as it is?
     
  4. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check out Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening".
     
  5. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Roundup, a product brand of the chemical glyphosate is not a residual, so there is nothing to last until spring. It is used to kill growing vegatation, and planting can be done about one week to 10 days after application. It is that short term for any residual.

    I would recommend "solarization". As soon as garden space is vacant cover it with black plastic. Then place a few 2" X 4" boards on edge to form an air gap, then add a layer of clear plastic. Seal the edges all around with dirt. The air gap allows higher solar temperatures to be reached. In essence the soil and weed seed will be slightly cooked to inhibite much germination of weed seed in the soil.

    On a new garden spot I always till, irrigate, and allow new weed seed to germinate. Then I repeat the process once quite a number of weeds have germinated. Don't let them get very large before tilling again. The tilling brings seeds in the soil closer to the surface so that they will germinate.

    If you never allow weeds to go to seed, after a few years you will not have nearly as many weeds to fight.

    After crops are up and growing you can use "Preen" on gardens according to the label I read. Your choice. You can also do a lot of mulching to shade the ground so fewer weeds germinate.
     
  6. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    We had that problem last year also. We just kept tilling until we got it all planted. The rain will compress some of your soil if you don't. We have clay soil . So we have been mulching HEAVY with older hay. Yes a few weeds will come up in it, but not enough to bother me. My results were good, I did just about no weeding last year. We are doing it again this year. We also have been putting heavy loads of manure {with bedding mixed} on them all fall. Hope you have a good season.
     
  7. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Yes, you can just cut some holes in the newspaper and plant. You can till it in if you want, or just leave it and pile more on next year. If you don't use chemicals and keep a constant supply of organic material on your soil, the worms will till your garden for you. Also, I saw on tv that worm poo makes plants grow better than other fertilizers that have the same analysis, they don't really know why. Keeping chemicals out of your garden helps the fungi that connect to the roots of your plants live. These fungi make available nutrients to your plants that would not be otherwise, increasing the surface area of the plant roots up to 1,000 times. The beneficial microbes will also be happy, breaking down organic materials for your plants.

    Your soil is alive! :)