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Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

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Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/1/2013, 10:02 pm

I did my first SQF garden in 2011 and it went really well! Then, in 2012, I was pregnant and it was a difficult pregnancy and I didn't do my garden. I also didn't tend to it at all. Weeds blew in (I'm assuming) and these are my garden beds now below. One of them has the same type of weeds with some grass, the other one just has grass and some moss and also has dead strawberry plants - but as you can see there are new green, smaller strawberry plants growing under all that dead stuff.






Weeds up close - not sure what these are but they are everywhere in the 1st garden bed and have connecting roots:



Here are my questions. Do I clean out all the soil and buy new Mel's mix and start over with the bed that is overgrown? Or, do I just get down there and try to weed it out and add in some mixed compost? On the 2nd bed, the one with the strawberry plants, do I cut away the dead strawberry plants and weed the rest OR start over on that one too? I did do 4 plots in the one with the strawberry plants and it took me 30 minutes but I got the weeds and grass out. It didn't come up through the weed cloth, the roots were just sitting there, so they must have blown in? There was a few grass blades that did make a hole through the weed cloth but it was very minimal.

Thank you for any and all help! I'm anxious to do my garden this year because I miss it!! Cool
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  bowhuntaz on 4/2/2013, 12:06 am

From what i see in the photos, and based on my experience, you've already figured out your top two options.
If i were in your shoes, I'd be asking myself what my priorities are.
Starting over is the expensive route, but you save time.
Cleaning up and getting a grip on what you've already got is the inexpensive but time consuming route.
I would look at it from the perspective of what will give you the best return on your time and money investment.
There a bit of work to be done, but it's not insurmountable.
You have a fair start with those strawberries, though they need a little tlc to help them along.
Any bed i could readily identify desirable crops in would get cleaned up and reorganized.
Any one i couldn't, would get weeded completely and reworked into something useful.
One of the hallmark premises of sfg is minimizing time investment into maximum yields, and while it stinks you had to take a year off, it's also a blessing as you've had some time to mull over your successes and challenges which make you a better gardener.
D
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/2/2013, 10:29 am

Congratulations on the little one.

You could pull the majority of the weeds or just turn over the Mel's Mix and then cover the beds with black plastic. Leave the plastic on for long enough to kill everything under it. It might be beneficial to do this a couple of times to make sure you get all the seeds. If you have some sunny days it shouldn't take too long.

I might try and remove the strawberries first.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  quiltbea on 4/2/2013, 6:53 pm

Has anyone tried a propane weed torch/burner to get rid of nasty weeds? I know folks use them along flower borders and they do the job. Burning off the weeds and covering the beds with 2 or 3" of compost, might help it tremendously. If anyone has experience with veggie gardens, let us know.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/2/2013, 6:57 pm

@H_TX_2 wrote:You could pull the majority of the weeds or just turn over the Mel's Mix and then cover the beds with black plastic. Leave the plastic on for long enough to kill everything under it.

How long are you talking to leave the plastic on after I pull the weeds - a day or week or month?
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/2/2013, 6:59 pm

I would just lift all those weeds and even the old strawberry plants out with a garden fork, fill the box with homemade or blended compost and mix it all together. Place a grid then replant the strawberry plants. That shouldn't take too long.

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  southern gardener on 4/2/2013, 8:17 pm

The soil still looks nice and loose. If it were me, I'd try pulling the weeds out. Just think if it was full of "good" veggies, you'd still take the time to pull out the plants and re-plant. I'll bet it wouldn't take much time at all really. Pull the weeds and shake off the excess MM. If the MM is stuck really tight onto the roots, we've "swished" the roots in a bucket of water to help release the MM. Add some fresh compost to your beds and you should be good. Of course, this is "me" haha
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/3/2013, 12:13 pm

To me it doesn't look like the weeds are that bad. I had that happen when my daughter was in a bad car accident and my garden went by the wayside for the rest of the season. The weeds will come out easier than you think because the MM is so soft. I also agree that your MM looks good, dig things up to loosen it up, as you pull the weeds, don't waste the MM and get as much MM off the roots as possible. When you get to the strawberry plants, dig them up, trim off the dead stuff, if the roots are long, trim them also, add your new compost and a grid, and replant the strawberry plants.

I hope you are feeling better now!
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/3/2013, 12:44 pm

For the plastic I would say about a week. A week of high temp and no sun light can't be good for any plant.

I had a cat using my garden and I decided to sift an entire 4x4 box. Place a tarp next to the box and shovel the MM into the tarp. Then place two boards parallel to each other across the tops of the box. Place the sifter on the two boards and shovel the MM from the tarp into the sifter and push/pull it back and forth. It didn't take all that long and if I had someone helping it could have gone much faster if one person shoveled while another sifted.

Might be even quicker to use a heavy rake to rip up the weeds and then rake them into a pile. Then add a nice layer of compost on top.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/5/2013, 7:01 pm

I'd just treat it like green manure, fork it under and plant, then weed as the year goes.

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/5/2013, 7:19 pm

The name escapes me just now but those weeds propagate by runners. If you till them in you will have many more to deal with.

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/6/2013, 3:53 pm

Another option is an organic "roundup" substitute.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 oz orange oil (you can find online sources for this)
dab of soap
1 gallon container

Mix together and spray. It will kill any and everything so be careful, but it will also not leave any residue that is toxic or any anyway harmful.

You can eliminate the orange oil, but it seems to super charge the mix in some way. If you use the vinegar only, it might take a couple times of spraying to get it all.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/6/2013, 5:10 pm

A major problem with applied weed killer is that it will remain in the bed and may effect your garden plants later. Something to think about... thinking

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/6/2013, 5:16 pm

@camprn wrote:A major problem with applied weed killer is that it will remain in the bed and may effect your garden plants later. Something to think about... thinking
My understanding with this spray is the the ingredients are quickly broken down and do not collect in the soil or remain harmful.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  plantoid on 4/6/2013, 5:43 pm

@camprn wrote:The name escapes me just now but those weeds propagate by runners. If you till them in you will have many more to deal with.

Creeping buttercup ? Horsetail ? Twitch grass , Crab grass etc etc.



Creeping buttercup ,propagates by seeds & nodes on the runners ..is similar to strawberries ?
http://www.weedinfo.ca/en/weed-index/view/id/RANRE

Horse tail by spores and micro root cuttings


Twitch and crab by root cuttings
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/6/2013, 5:53 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@camprn wrote:The name escapes me just now but those weeds propagate by runners. If you till them in you will have many more to deal with.

Creeping buttercup ? Horsetail ? Twitch grass , Crab grass etc etc.



Creeping buttercup ,propagates by seeds & nodes on the runners ..is similar to strawberries ?
http://www.weedinfo.ca/en/weed-index/view/id/RANRE

Horse tail by spores and micro root cuttings


Twitch and crab by root cuttings
Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/6/2013, 9:12 pm

Knotweed?
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Turan on 4/6/2013, 11:02 pm

@camprn wrote:Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

We have talked about quake grass... but that is a type of grass.

This seems to have a rosette of broad leaves. I must have a total brain cramp too

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/6/2013, 11:05 pm

@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

We have talked about quake grass... but that is a type of grass.

This seems to have a rosette of broad leaves. I must have a total brain cramp too
LOL, Perfect! silly me I know it will come to me eventually. Maybe in June... Wink Maybe I called it pigweed once upon a time. but I think that's wrong too... May just have to take a trip to the extension service.

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Turan on 4/6/2013, 11:12 pm

Lovage?

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/6/2013, 11:58 pm

No idea what the weeds are but I do know that the roots are horrendous - they are all connected, like runners (underground) as someone mentioned. I did pull them ALL when I was at the beginning of my pregnancy last spring, but as you can see they grew back but are exclusive to that one bed, they aren't in the other one.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  llama momma on 4/7/2013, 7:02 am

Soak the bed thoroughly then roots will be easier to lift. Lay the plants on top of the bed to dry a bit and shake off mels mix back into the box.
The hardest thing I encountered was a box of harvested corn stalks. Roots went right through hardware cloth and tangled itself all over the cloth too. Soaking helped tremendously.
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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Turan on 4/7/2013, 2:22 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

We have talked about quake grass... but that is a type of grass.

This seems to have a rosette of broad leaves. I must have a total brain cramp too
LOL, Perfect! silly me I know it will come to me eventually. Maybe in June... Wink Maybe I called it pigweed once upon a time. but I think that's wrong too... May just have to take a trip to the extension service.

It is not campanula, their new leaves are heart shaped. My guess is buttonweed.. That link is a good reference

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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 7:40 pm

@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

We have talked about quake grass... but that is a type of grass.

This seems to have a rosette of broad leaves. I must have a total brain cramp too
LOL, Perfect! silly me I know it will come to me eventually. Maybe in June... Wink Maybe I called it pigweed once upon a time. but I think that's wrong too... May just have to take a trip to the extension service.

It is not campanula, their new leaves are heart shaped. My guess is buttonweed.. That link is a good reference
AH HA! I found it, it is known as red or sheeps sorrell. noxious thing!

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/comhort/nooksack/ipmweb/blue/red_sorrel.html

http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/weed-identification-perennial-2.html




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Re: Too Many Weeds - Start Over?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/7/2013, 7:56 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@Turan wrote:
@camprn wrote:Nope, I know what those are but I am just having a total brain cramp about the weed/plant in the photo dangit ... I know Turan knows what it is because we discussed it last year.

We have talked about quake grass... but that is a type of grass.

This seems to have a rosette of broad leaves. I must have a total brain cramp too
LOL, Perfect! silly me I know it will come to me eventually. Maybe in June... Wink Maybe I called it pigweed once upon a time. but I think that's wrong too... May just have to take a trip to the extension service.

It is not campanula, their new leaves are heart shaped. My guess is buttonweed.. That link is a good reference
AH HA! I found it, it is known as red or sheeps sorrell. noxious thing!

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/comhort/nooksack/ipmweb/blue/red_sorrel.html

http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/weed-identification-perennial-2.html



That is definitely it! Here is what it said for removal:

"Pulling by hand is not recommended because of the rhizomes. Breaking the plant could actually cause the weed to spread faster. If you choose to pull by hand or by shovel, try to remove all of the root and rooted stems. Chemical control is the best method."

I wonder if this is why when I pulled them last April, they just came back and came back with more. I was very careful to remove the roots then, I did it by hand, yet they still came back. How should I deal with these? I want to keep everything organic, thinking I should probably start over with this bed?
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