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Weeds, Weeds, and More Weeds

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We Have a 30'120' garden. We planted Corn and even put in the tomato plants at the end of April. Put a few other things like radishes, beets and things like that early................The thing was the Weeds grew three times faster than the vegetable seeds....... Man oh man we couldn't keep up with the weeding to save our life....Does anyone have any ideas on how to control the weeds and have a garden I could be proud of. We went from a Bumper crop in 2008 to a Bummer crop in 2009.............We have pigs so all of the garden vegetables get used.....................Thanks Bill
post #2 of 14
That's a fair-sized piece of ground, and weeding can become a major use of your spare time.

I don't know your proceedures, so it's hard to give advice. But there are several methods of weed control. I'm assuming you do not want to use synthetic herbicides.

First off, if you're planning on corn again next year, consider a three-sisters patch. For that you interplant the corn with beans and winter squashes. This sets up a synergistic relationship in which each plant contributes what others need while serving it's own needs.

One of the benefits is that the squash serve as a living mulch that shades the ground, retains moisture, and minimizes weed growth.

BTW, according to a sturdy done at Cornell, a three-sisters planting produces 35% more usable biomass than those same three planted separately. Another advantage.

Speaking of mulching, that's a primary form of weed control. Many gardeners do not understand mulching, however, and think a scattering of organic material will serve. Such is not the case. You want to maintain your mulch layer at at least 4-6" thickness. Doing that will significantly reduce the incidence of perrenial weeds. What annuals do grow will be newly seeded, and grow on the surface, where they're easy to pull.

Synthetic mulches work too. You can, for instance, lay down plastic and plant through it. This will all but eliminate weeds. While you're at it, lay drig-irrigation lines under the plastic, and you'll reduce both the time you spend watering and the amount of water used.

If, like me, you don't want to use plastic, paper bags and newspapers make good weed guards as well, and become part of the composted material. Again, you want to go fairly thick (at least an inch of wet newspaper, or a double thickness of grocery-store bags). Mulching over that removes the unsightlyness and provides all the regular benefits of mulching as well.

You didn't specify, but the worst way of weeding, from a time-invested viewpoint, is to pull the weeds by hand. With a large garden you just can't keep up that way. Instead, get a good hoe, and chop the weeds. This will both keep them down and add additional organic material to the soil.

There's a difference, too, between annual and perennial weeds. The annuals are a lot easier to control. One way to get a jump on perrenial weeds is to leave part of the garden fallow. In the summer (you need heat for this) till it, water well, and cover with clear plastic. Be sure and seal the edges well. It takes as much as eight weeks, but this literally sterilizes the soil. Note: Everything in that section dies, including the micro-herd. But by doing it in sections you still have other surface to grow on, and the worms, molds, bacteria, etc. will quickly migrate back to the sterilized portion.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
hi and thanks for all the help. Last year I had a great crop in everything and this year drove me nuts......I had my John Deere tractor stolen last week so now I need to get something to till the garden ......................Thanks .....Bill
post #4 of 14
Wow I am sorry to hear that. I would have been beside myself if some one stole my tractor. I kept 160 acres about five hours from my home for several years but sold it last year. I thank my lucky stars every day with what has happened to real estate since then. I also sold my JD 2210 last fall. I miss my tractor and I hope you recover yours!
At home I have a small garden and use preen. Up North I sprayed with round up three times the first year before I planted and I had minimal problems with weeds after that.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey Duckfat, Thats what I had a JD 2210. I loved it great tractor for small farm needs. I do need to do something but I don't want to buy another 12k tractor. We have pigs so they get fed real good from the garden. We also use the Tomatoes, cuks, corn, peppers in our food service................Take care................Bill
post #6 of 14
Weeds going mad here too - had lots of rainfall here last couple months, now the sun has come out and temps are rising.

Our garden is weird - renting so can't really change thins that much. Got weed mat under stones - odd little red ones, no idea what they are.

Is there any easy home made "environmentally friendly" weed killer one can make? Mulching is unfortunately not an option, I know it would be the best. Plus we have cats who like to eat the grass weeds <sigh>
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 14
It's ok now...found a natural environmentally friendly weed removal technique - 2 teenage children wanting spending money! Cheaper than any ingredient known to mankind. I highly recommend it :D
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi DC, Send the kids over to the USA I could us them. If I ask my kids to do something they turn me in for abuse......................Take care.............Bill
post #9 of 14
Teenagers? Environmentally friendly? Are you kidding?

Teens are a blot on the face of the earth, and mostly should be raised by the bung hole theory.

When children turn 13 you put them in a barrel, and feed them through the bung hole. Then, when they're 18 you either let them out---or drive the bung home.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 14
Funny people :D That's a pretty fair estimation of teens.

ChefBB - they'd love to go - I'll courier them...just gotta find the right motivation for teens. Abuse? It's called a work ethic, but tell that to teens, well, y'know what happens.

I agree with the bung hole theory...but leave they boys in couple years extra!
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi DC, We would welcome them with open arms and a weed whacker. Its November and the garden is still full of weeds. A few weeks after I pasted this my tractor got stolen. I don't know what the heck I'm waiting for I just shake my head when I walk by the garden. I really like the large garden because we use a lot in our food service. We process the Cows and Pigs for the food service so the garden is real cost effective. I love having the tomatoes, Cuks, peppers, to use daily in our breakfast omelets and salads. It makes me feel a bit more like getting back to the way things used to be. I need to get off my Butt and realize someone isn't going to ride in on my Tractor and yell " Bill, someone borough back your tractor because they felt bad for stealing it" Take care >>>>Bill
post #12 of 14
Hey Bill,
That's no good about the tractor....some people :(

I know what - tell your kids gardening is a bad thing to do, that should get them going on the hoeing. Or get the local Scout group in for a "Bob a Job" exercise.

I don't know how I'd handle a plot as large as what you have there, but I always like to have some area to plant something in, seems a shame to waste any spare space, especially with food prices going thru the roof. Plus its just so satisfying.

We're close to moving now so I'm itching to see what the new yard is like so I can have some fun with it :) Just gotta get packing finalised....ugggh.

Cheers.....Daina
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #13 of 14

Teens and Gardens

My daughter is really helpful in the garden, but does want paying though!!! I have also made the weeding really easy by putting down mesh in all the borders and then planting through that it really helps keep down the weeds. I then have a seperate veg plot which I completely empty late Autumn and dig it over, then early March I dig it over and start planting again. We grow all sorts, the carrotts ar not a success as the rabbits eat them, I did try to put them in a tunnel but it was to much effort, so if there are any spaces I fill with good old potatoes!:roll::roll::roll:
post #14 of 14

Weed control permacuturally

Ducks and Geese are mother natures weed eaters. Using a temporary easily moveable fence is a great way to direct the fowl into underweeded areas!!! Research Growing foods in a sustainable manner via You tube or undr the author Bill Mollison, it will change your lives!!!
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