Weeding advice

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Wisenheimer, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer

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    So my new garden soil prep is coming along nicely, but I'm struggling to remove all the weeds AND their roots, everywhere I look more weeds and deeper roots. I'm planning on removing the soil temporarily then removing the weeds and roots then reusing the soil and topping it off with freshly bought soil and fertilizer, however i feel like I'm missing a colander like tool for filtering all the crap out of dug up soil, does a tool like this exist???
     
    Wisenheimer, Dec 6, 2017
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  2. Wisenheimer

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    MoonShadows, Dec 6, 2017
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  3. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group!

    Black plastic works great , if it is sunny, killing off plants and roots, in Arizona I would spray the weeds with vinegar, on a sunny day it kills. or spray with vinegar and then cover with plastic.

    I cheat, I prep my huge wildflower gardens using a tiller, then letting weeds start to grow, then doing a light spray of round up. That gives the flower seeds a step ahead of the weeds.
    No round up gets near the ponds.
     
    addy1, Dec 6, 2017
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  4. Wisenheimer

    mgmine

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    As addy says. The only real way to kill the weeds is to spray them, and even then they will come back. I like Round Up. You can use newspaper instead of plastic but clear plastic won't work.
     
    mgmine, Dec 6, 2017
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  5. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I bought some grass killer, put out a whole bunch of flower seeds last year, pricey, all that grew was grass! So this next spring going to spray and kill the grass, if mixed right it ignores all other plants. Seeds will be spread when we get back. Some now some in the spring.
     
    addy1, Dec 6, 2017
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  6. Wisenheimer

    JamieB

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    I’ll be doing the black plastic trick here. Spray the ground well, then cover well with black plastic, and let it bake all summer for best results. It means a year of nothing there. But it forces any seeds already there to sprout, then die, and bake to a crisp! Luckily I’ve got plenty of time to do this, I’m going to put planters on top of the plastic with plants in them to hold the plastic in place with these winds. It’ll kill the weeds, then I’ll go in at the end of summer, dig it up, put down weed barrier cloth, mix compost in with the soil, and cover it back up. With all the area I have to do that to, it’ll be a several year project. I’ve got two flower beds I plan on, but have to build a dog fence first so they won’t trample or dig it up. I’ll do the plastic to kill off weeds where I’ll be planting bushes and trees, but I won’t do the weed cloth, maybe some kind of edging though.
     
    JamieB, Dec 6, 2017
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  7. Wisenheimer

    Lisak1

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    You could try the lasagna gardening technique - start by putting down several layers of cardboard. Then top with organic material - leaves, grass clippings, soil, etc. Top off with good garden soil and plant directly into the top layer. Over time the many layers will start to compost and develop good, rich soil. The weeds underneath will be choked out by the cardboard. And worms love cardboard so they will come along for the soil making party. Every year just add more organic material.

    Tilling is fine, but you will also be exposing seeds that are laying dormant under the soil and starting the problem all over again.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 6, 2017
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  8. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I don't have enough cardboard to cover the amount of land I plant with wild flowers, over a acre. Spread out over our land. I have converted a lot of our grass into bird, bug, bee friendly plantings. I had to till to knock down the darn grass and get bare soil for the seeds to lay on, I do a shallow till. It takes a few days to till the planting areas, using my tractor and the tiller dear honey bought me this year. This year I tilled, let some weeds start to grow again, tilled again. Then in a few spots hit it with round up. I have not put out the seeds yet, with the way our temperatures swing, I need nice cold to stay for at least a bit so they don't start to germinate, then get killed by a cold smack.

    Neat Idea though, if I do a smaller area I will try that.
     
    addy1, Dec 7, 2017
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  9. Wisenheimer

    Lisak1

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    You garden on a GIANT scale @addy1 - your tractor and tiller are definitely the way to go with large projects! But on a smaller scale, the lasagna garden method is easy and cool to observe!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 7, 2017
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  10. Wisenheimer

    JamieB

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    Addy, I think I need to borrow that! Lol. We’ve got 10 acres, but maybe 1/3 is seperated by an arroyo, 1/3 is back field which we’d like to till and put in clover. Then, fix fences, put in a calf, and raise it out! Dad wants a beef calf, I want a milk cow. I’d milk it, make butter, and try making cheese... we’ve got a neighbor we can get to do it for us.
     
    JamieB, Dec 7, 2017
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  11. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    We used to till with one of those you walk behind, well honey did. It was too heavy for me to control and our land has hills. It even beat him up. So I mentioned maybe we should get a tiller for my tractor and he bought me one! Now I have ripped out a lot more grass! = a lot less mowing! Any of the areas that were hard to mow, ie. too steep of a hill are plants now..
     
    addy1, Dec 8, 2017
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  12. Wisenheimer

    JamieB

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    Our problem is Johnson grass. A highly invasive, quick growing impossible to kill grass that puts out runners, and spreads from seeds and any tiny bit of root that doesn’t get removed. It develops cyanide if exposed to fros, droit, or anything that stresses it, can kill a horse, cattle, or what ever. It was brought over as grazing way back before they knew it was a problem. And so long as it’s not stressed, it is good for cattle. It’s a lot like bamboo, impossible to get rid of completely! I’d have to till the entire yard, go pull all the roots, and I’d still have seeds blowing in from fields and ditches. The only way to control it is to mow it several times a week. I pulled up all of it around the pool, down to bare earth, kept it that way for all spring last year. I was gone 2 weeks, came back to it waist high. With 10 acres, I can’t keep all of that in check. So we are thinking of plowing and planting alfalfa, or clover, to try and crowd it out. I’ll still have to go pull plants as I find them.
     
    JamieB, Dec 8, 2017
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  13. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    addy1, Dec 8, 2017
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  14. Wisenheimer

    brokensword Keyser Söze lives

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    Had a lot of experience with this; the plastic was a pain as sooner or later, the weeds grow in whatever you put over top the plastic (also, it doesn't allow water to the surrounding area very well at all). I've ripped mine out. The fabric cloth acts the same (the weeds gladly found some way to erupt through it or around at the seams); I ripped that out. I started out with rocks figuring weeds won't grow well in that substrate and for a while, it worked but as I tried to put in annuals or plant new shrubs/perennials, the rocks were a pita as I had to rake them back to plant then rake them back over when I was done. I ripped the rocks out, too. Use to use the black diamond plastic garden bed edging; lasts about 4 years until the frost has heaved it up enough times that the lawnmower clipped the top edge. Needless to say, I ripped that out too; didn't want to have to re-set the edging every other year--just as easy to dig a new edge every couple of years and weed whacking the edge tight every month or so when I cut the lawn.

    I've also tried the preen/seed smothering chem; it works but gets expensive and you have to have a fairly flat, undisturbed bed of soil. Can't spot spray for weeds unless you don't value the neighboring annuals and perennials. I mean you can, but takes a lot of time and I figure I can yank them just as quickly and no chems!

    So, I finally figured that even though you can't have a totally weed-free garden, whether trying to keep the grass out or the weeds, the best was ground cover and even that will allow SOME weeds. Still, far less than it used to be. You can also get good mileage out of putting down mulch EVERY year as by the time the weeds begin growing in the mulch, the season is nearing an end and the original cover will smother any weeds if you put it down 3-4 inches thick. But as before, you don't get a free lunch; there's still manual labor to put down the mulch. All in all though, the mulch labor is preferable to weeding every couple of weeks.

    There's a reason they call them 'weeds'...
     
    brokensword, Dec 8, 2017
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  15. Wisenheimer

    Lisak1

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    Mulch is definitely every gardener's best friend. We mulch on a spring/fall schedule - spring one year, fall the next, then skip a year, then back to spring. We mulch heavily - 6-8 inches minimum - and find this schedule keeps us ALMOST weed free. We freshen up the paths every spring and fall - that tends to break down faster than the mulch we don't walk on. We've used a variety of organic materials over the years - composted horse manure (mushroom compost), hay, cedar, tree clippings, shredded bark - even grass clippings in some areas. I'm a mulch aficionado!

    I don't think the suggestion was to plant over the plastic - rather to use it to kill off the weeds and weed seeds by heating up the ground. Once the weeds are dead you remove the plastic. Planting on top of it would definitely be a pain! I feel the same about landscape fabric - eventually things just grow in the silt the develops on top of the fabric and it keeps water from flowing through.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 9, 2017 at 1:52 AM
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  16. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    People in ariz used to put down black plastic, make a hole put a plant in. Caused all sort of watering issues, with a little rain as we got there.
    Not a good idea. With my rock yards I would use anti germinating stuff, stopped the weed seeds from growing.

    In Maryland it is a constant fight to keep the wildflower gardens , wildflowers. Every 3ish years I need to till up the vines, poison ivy, weed trees, etc and redo the gardens. Any seed that drops grows.............
     
    addy1, Dec 9, 2017 at 2:08 PM
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  17. Wisenheimer

    JamieB

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    I’ll be putting the plastic to kill the weeds under it. So a year of just potted plants there. That first frost, plastic comes up, ground gets tilled, weed roots pulled. Weed barrier goes down, and a good mix of dirt and compost go on top. I’m ok pulling weeds when I can keep them under control, but that Johnson grass is beyond my abilities with as much area as I’d have to do. I’ll try that stuff addy, see if it works and if it does, I’ll buy it often!
     
    JamieB, Dec 9, 2017 at 2:08 PM
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  18. Wisenheimer

    JamieB

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    We’ve got the Johnson grass and some kind of tree that refuses to die. The saplings are everywhere, and I have to pull the entire root or it grows back. They love to get right around the plants I do want, and they grow fast.
     
    JamieB, Dec 9, 2017 at 2:12 PM
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  19. Wisenheimer

    Lisak1

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    I think I've told this story before - my MIL had landscape fabric laid before she had a hedge installed, then put small decorative rock on top of it. Within a few years enough silt had fallen on top of the rock that it formed a layer thick enough for weeds to grow ON TOP of the landscape fabric. So it became a weeding nightmare. Then about year six the bushes all started dying - you guessed it. No water could get through the landscape fabric because of the layer of silt that formed. The whole hedge (and it was about 100 feet long - maybe 50 fully grown buckthorns) had to be ripped out. Her "maintenance free" installation was nothing but work and more work.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 9, 2017 at 2:26 PM
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  20. Wisenheimer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I don't use the landscape fabric either, for reasons you are stating lisak, did years ago in az, and yep weeds grew very nicely in it, a mess to yank out.
     
    addy1, Dec 9, 2017 at 7:45 PM
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