Keeping Weeds Away - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-28-2011, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you use?  We're still a few months away from being able to start (we're zone 5B I think) but my mom is already talking 'RoundUp' and 'Preen'.  (Not sure if Preen is any safer.)  What do YOU use?  We had a horrible time two years ago and they didn't garden at all last year but we're moving to a smaller plot and need to start preparing.  Its interesting how family dynamics work, lol.  Mom: spray some stuff on it!  Dad: Well the Amish...  Me: (thinking) I just want to feed it to the baby without him getting sick!  What's the point of growing my own garden if its no better than the grocery store?


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#2 of 13 Old 02-28-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Round up is evil. I'm a Master Gardener and we gets tons of calls from folks every spring and summer with folks telling us their plants looks shrivel-y. We ask if the neighbors spray. Yep, they do. Herbicide drift is no joke. 

 

A good mulch keeps down weeds in beds or between rows. Plain old hoeing helps. See a weed, pop it out. Or give up and grow a cover crop in between the veggie plants, like vetch or clover.

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#3 of 13 Old 02-28-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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What do you suggest if the neighbors do spray?  Our only good gardening spot is along the fence line.  No creative thinking possible, we have a tiny lot.  I know that they have a lawn service and assume that include spraying, although TBH I've never actually seen anyone spraying.  Our garden is about 3' above their lawn (funky retaining wall involved) and there's a wood fence in between.  It's never been an issue, but now I'm wondering how organic our veggies actually are.  Yikes.

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#4 of 13 Old 03-01-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Try to catch the service next time it comes. Ask the technician not to spray on windy days. Most labels on the bad stuff says this anyway. Or ask him if he has any organic sprays that break down quickly such as those that have neem oil.

 

For yourself.. lots of digging or get one of those dragons to zap the weeds with fire.

 

http://www.flameengineering.com/Weed_Dragon.html

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#5 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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Cover the area you will garden with plastic and solarise..A thick mulch will keep the weeds down.Pull by hand anything with prickers. Never use chemicals in areas where you will grow food unless you don't mind those chemicals being taken up by your food!

 

I simply pull weeds in gardens.In the lawn I just mow before they go to seed.

If anything vinegar would be ok.

 

If you have danilions consider eating them.All parts are useful!

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#6 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 08:57 PM
 
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Step 1- I raked and raked and raked to get every little bit of raspberry bramble, grass (the tough kind that grows from little pieces of root left behind) etc.

 

2-I made garden beds that were 3-4 feet wide and planted veggies close together so that weeds wouldn't have room to grow. I'd get the occasional weed but they were easy to get rid of. 

 

3-The walkways were a big deal. I put down cardboard and covered it with straw. I didn't have enough to do the whole garden so I can say from experience, it makes a world of difference!!! By the end of the summer the cardboard had broken down and the straw was on it`s way too. I plan on redoing it next year. I also did this all around the pumpkin and squash vines. It kept things much neater. 


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#7 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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Now that I think about it, how toxic is cardboard? Regular old cardboard boxes from the grocery store.... I supposed I could skip them but I liked having something solid down, then I needed less straw to cut out the weeds (if it's not thick enough, weeds would grow up through the straw.)


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#8 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

Now that I think about it, how toxic is cardboard? Regular old cardboard boxes from the grocery store.... I supposed I could skip them but I liked having something solid down, then I needed less straw to cut out the weeds (if it's not thick enough, weeds would grow up through the straw.)



Actually, we use regular old cardboard for mulch at one of our demonstration gardens near the county fairground. The weeds don't come up through it... though eventually, you have stuff growing on top of it as it eventually decomposes. It works awesome between the rows.

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#9 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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We use lawn clippings (ones without pesticides) for mulch.  I had to mow my grandma's gigantic lawn a few times to get enough clippings, but it worked perfectly.  I barely had to pick any weeds last summer.  It was awesome! 


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#10 of 13 Old 03-07-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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We do newspaper (just the b&w pages) with grass clippings on top. You need heavy layers of clippings bc when they dry out they shrink. Works well though! I spend a huge amount of te pulling weeds though.

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#11 of 13 Old 03-08-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post

We do newspaper (just the b&w pages) with grass clippings on top. You need heavy layers of clippings bc when they dry out they shrink. Works well though! I spend a huge amount of te pulling weeds though.


That's true.  They do shrink and it can be a problem.  We dumped many loads of clippings in over an extended time period in order to have no weeds.  I should have clarified that in my post.

 


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#12 of 13 Old 03-09-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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I've used grass clippings and cardboard topped with grass clippings very successfully. When we got a mulching mower I had no more grass clippings so I just used cardboard and it was less successful - cardboard blew away pretty easily.


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#13 of 13 Old 03-10-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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I use newspaper and then straw on top of that. I tried using shredded newspaper last year and that didn't work well. Layers of newspaper sheets work much better.

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