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need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

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need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  cnjroark on 5/23/2012, 1:24 pm

Hello forum. I need help from the community (which let me say here...how very much i appreciate). Have 5 boxes. Pretty new to all this. I started it and planted maybe 3 seasons. Still learning about everything but love, love, love it! Sadly, I have not been able to garden in about 4 seasons. The boxes were growing tons of weeds due to neglect. Sad But now, I am ready to get back into things! I cleaned out all the boxes a couple of months ago and now, the weeds are back again and thriving in my Mel's Mix. I have not planted anything for a summer garden. Just trying to get the boxes prepared again so that I can. Please tell me the best way to clean things out. I prefer to have an organic garden but have been told by a couple of folks that they feel the only way to deal with this issue is to put in weed killer. ARRRRGH! Thank you for your help.

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Fire!

Post  CharlesB on 5/23/2012, 1:34 pm

Burn them!



Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil



Might have some trouble with that method if you live in town though.
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I am not an expert....

Post  dmj24 on 5/23/2012, 1:39 pm

But you will have to weed again. This time though as you weed wet and put down a inch thick (Or More) layer of newspaper. It will prevent the sun from germinating the seeds from the weeds.
When you decide to plant your plant leave the Newspaper where it is and cut a hole in the middle and plant your plant.give it enough of a hole to allow water to reach the roots and so it can grow.
The newspaper prevents the sun from encouraging weeds to grow.
Perhaps someone has a better idea. I would be interested in hearing it.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  walshevak on 5/23/2012, 1:50 pm

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Weed-Dragon-Garden-Torch-Kit/6435919 Laughing

Otherwise, the newspaper route sounds good to me. Not only will it mulch, it will compost.

For the squares where you absolutely have to sow tiny seed, try a kettle of boiling water.

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  elliephant on 5/23/2012, 2:06 pm

Solarization

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  camprn on 5/23/2012, 4:27 pm

@elliephant wrote:Solarization
+1. pull out all the wees you can see then proceed with solarization. Good luck and welcome back to the garden!

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  cnjroark on 5/23/2012, 5:32 pm

am so appreciative of all the replies. i continue to learn. i would have never thought of fire, solarization, etc. you guys rock! thank you so much for taking the time to respond. and so good to be back.

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just learned something new

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 5/23/2012, 5:57 pm

Solarization!

Very cool. Thanks!
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  H_TX_2 on 5/23/2012, 6:31 pm

I need that weed dragon torch. Not sure what I will use it for just yet but I want it handy so it is there when I decide that I do need it. Christmas might come early this year.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  boffer on 5/23/2012, 8:13 pm

@H_TX_2 wrote:I need that weed dragon torch. Not sure what I will use it for just yet but I want it handy so it is there when I decide that I do need it. Christmas might come early this year.
besides burning weeds,
lighting my charcoal grill
lighting the woodstove in my shop
lighting slash burn piles
burning dead vines off metal trellises
drying and warming metal for painting in the winter
heat source for bending and forming PVC pipe
eliminates spider webs in a flash
adheres torch down roofing in non-roofing projects
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  GWN on 5/23/2012, 9:25 pm

so pray tell, ... me more about this dragon torch thingy
Is it just a guy thing?
Can you only do this when there are no fire restrictions? Do the weeds need to be dry first?

SOunds a bit like paintball....
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  boffer on 5/23/2012, 10:13 pm

You've probably seen one in action: road crews use a similar torch for asphalt (blacktop) repair.

I modified a cheap handtruck to carry around the propane tank. It works great for weeds in the gravel driveway, the edges of lawns, and keeping the forest on its side of the fence. Weeds are green. Unlike weed killer, it's instant gratification. It is just really satisfying watching a juicy dandelion in the gravel shrivel up and be gone.

There have been a couple dry, hot summers where I didn't want to use it in August because of the potential fire risk, but by then, the weeds weren't growing much anyhow. I've never considered fire dept. restrictions.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  littlejo on 5/23/2012, 11:27 pm

cnjroark, just an opinion here!

Burning will take care of the weeds on top of the soil, but, later, they will come back.

Are your boxes 6 in. deep? I might burn the weeds to get them gone quickly,(outside of boxes too) then I'd pull the mm back or put in bags, boxes, wheel barrow, etc. A lot of the weeds are prob. coming from the bottom thru the mm. Put down cardboard, paper, or a couple layers of weed cloth, then return the mm.

If you cannot garden for a while later, then cover beds with black plastic, save the headache later.

Jo
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  JustMe on 5/24/2012, 12:55 am

I'm in the newspaper camp. If you're saving a square for later, you could throw down corrugated cardboard.

Our old home backed up to a prairie preserve. The city did an authorize burn each spring to burn off the dead brush/leaves/stems and to stimulate the roots. Even though the ground would be scorched, sure enough the prairie plants would emerge. (They never announced this or let residents know. That first year, I called the city office b/c I thought he was a random guy with a flame thrower and I was afraid our house would be torched. Shocked )

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  GWN on 5/24/2012, 9:55 am

I use cardboard everywhere I am not using and in my raised bed that has quack grass coming up the 12 inches through the cardboard, I have laid out black plastic and am planting into little squares I have cut open.
I am hoping if I spend a period of time and stay on them, I can get ahead.
After this year I plan to cover all the raised beds with tarps or black plastic and leave them until I am ready to use them.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  jamesindetroit on 5/24/2012, 10:37 am

I love the burning and solarization methods.

However, what about beds with plants currently in them. My grass has no respect for the weed barrier...and I am regretting not pulling it up.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  CindiLou on 5/24/2012, 10:44 am

Hubby got that dragon torch thinking it would be the thing for his railroad weeds. He says it is a waste of money. All it does is burn the top of the plant. It regrows. And he says it takes WAY too much fuel to just do that. And it takes a lot of time.

I go for solarization.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  rowena___. on 5/24/2012, 12:26 pm

regarding solarization, bear in mind that it is a none-selective method and not only will it kill weeds, it will also kill any beneficial (and problematic) organisms living in your growing medium. you will need to re-introduce them via a complete compost so as to create a living soil before planting.

if this were my garden, i'd go with a paper mulch as dmj24 recommends, but for small seeds i'd start them in a cup and then transplant.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/24/2012, 1:51 pm

There are so many parts of my yard that have gotten away from me. It seems I am the only one who gets annoyed with the weeds. I laid black plastic down on our side yard over gravel and anchored it. When I look out the window it actually looks prettier than the weeds in different forms of growth and that is one area I don't have to worry about right now. I have hesitated taking pictures of my garden beds because I still have lots of weeds around that I have to take care of.

I like the idea of burning the weeds in the chain link fence, laying newspaper down for now and cut the slits when you are ready to plant and laying black plastic down on areas you don't need to use yet.

Since it sounds like weeds have grown up through your beds, I would, as someone suggested, dig out your beds and lay down any of these: cardboard, newspaper, two layers of weed cloth, etc. As you put your bed back together, you will need to go through the soil and pull out any weed material even if it does not have a root to it. It will form a root if left in the ground. You will probably have weed seeds in the soil that you can't see so before Winter, water your beds and lay down black plastic and also do outside of the beds if weeds are there also and you don't have grass. It is slippery to walk on the plastic if it is wet or has mud on it, so be careful.
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  Nicola on 5/24/2012, 8:10 pm

For my SFG beds, grass is the biggest "weed" from underneath, with Creeping Charlie (scalloped leaves, tiny purple flowers) trying to sneak in, too. From above, absolutely maple seeds! My unused bed (that's been waiting since I mixed in compost early in the season, for warmer planting weather than the radishes, peas and carrots in the other box like) was covered with little maple seedlings, some random seedlings that must've blown in, and four volunteer tomato plants, which will be transplanted to big pots around the yard. I wish I had known about solarization sooner; I would have put the compost down, then done the 'plastic thing'
I did try to put the MM from the four tomato squares through my compost sifter (a simple wooden box with hardware cloth attached to the bottom), but those little helicopters slid through, so, I prob'ly have lots more weeding ahead of me.
As for fire, I do battle between the driveway and the house with bindweed, and have wished for a torch, Garden Dragon, nuclear weaponry -whatever!- when pulling out those varmint weed vines. Probably better I haven't gotten one, lest I set the house on fire Mad
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  Chopper on 5/25/2012, 4:28 am

@boffer wrote:You've probably seen one in action: road crews use a similar torch for asphalt (blacktop) repair.

I modified a cheap handtruck to carry around the propane tank. It works great for weeds in the gravel driveway, the edges of lawns, and keeping the forest on its side of the fence. Weeds are green. Unlike weed killer, it's instant gratification. It is just really satisfying watching a juicy dandelion in the gravel shrivel up and be gone.

There have been a couple dry, hot summers where I didn't want to use it in August because of the potential fire risk, but by then, the weeds weren't growing much anyhow. I've never considered fire dept. restrictions.

Here in CA I would love one but would not consider using it without a hose in the other hand.

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  jamesindetroit on 5/28/2012, 11:28 pm

Got fed up pulling grass up on one of the beds. It is connected to a gourd-arbor that I built and it was time to put in Howden Pumpkin and Australian Butter.

Sooo...I layered newspapers, cut holes, and fed the already growing plants through them. Hopefully, I will be able to kill off the grass...or at least trick it into thinking the sun went dark eh?
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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  GWN on 5/29/2012, 9:14 am

after reading this, I have taken all the plastic from the hoop house, (not needed now) and laid it out on large areas of quack grass, perhaps by the end of the summer I will have more potential garden spaces.
I like this idea because it kills the plant in place saving all of the plant for its nutrients and structure making that soil more rich.

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/29/2012, 11:15 am

Say, Jamesindetroit, glad to find someone else growing Australian Butter. It was our hands-down favorite last year for finest pie-making squash. Also for creating a lovely creamy soup! How do you like it? Nonna

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Re: need your opinion on boxes full of weeds

Post  jamesindetroit on 5/29/2012, 6:15 pm

Nonna, I have never had it. I was growing it to see how I would! Also was growing it to see if it was sell-able at out local pumpkin festival!
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