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What do I do now ... 1 year later

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What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  katjohn83 on 1/17/2015, 8:53 pm

Last year was my first SFG. I am in Louisiana and we have a long growing season, but it is hot also so with some family issues and lack of motivation I sorta let the garden go late in the season. Now I am looking at it to get it ready for this year and my MM is full of grass, and weeds. The dead garden plants are easily removed the grass roots however are thick almost impossible. I guess I am just looking for suggestions. Can I salvage the MM or should I just dump it all out and start over.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  sanderson on 1/17/2015, 9:26 pm

So sorry you are facing this. Here's my 2 cents:
My best guess is that if the grass is the kind from root rhizomes, you may have to screen it thoroughly. If the grass and weeds are from single seeds with individual roots, you can just start carefully pulling them to make sure you get the roots. You may lose and inch or so of Mel's Mix. And, it may take a beer or so per bed. You can then cover with clear (slightly milky) plastic to warm up the Mix for a couple weeks to force germination of remaining viable seeds, then pull those. Maybe repeat to make sure.

A rather new running topic is Raising Beds to get away from invasive roots coming up from nearby trees and bushes. I hope someone from your Region, who is familiar with the grasses and weeds you might have, can add their 2 or 3 cents.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  camprn on 1/18/2015, 7:01 am

With agarden fork lift all the grass and other weeds and gently pull them out, roots and all.  Dump into the garden box a wheelbarrow full of good quality compostand mix it in. As your mixing, continue to pull any roots. Plant your garden. Weed as necessary through the growing season. Good luck! I know you can rehabs your beds, just needs some elbow grease.


Last edited by camprn on 1/18/2015, 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  mschaef on 1/18/2015, 8:54 am

Sorry to hear about the mess  Shocked . My thought are similar to them stated above. Here's an other thought just throwing it out there. Why not in the worst of the beds make it a compost pile and try out the hot compost method. That should kill all the seeds and make nice compost for the rest of the garden.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  Kelejan on 1/18/2015, 2:25 pm

mschaef +1 Sounds a good idea with a little less work needed. 

katjohn83, don't dump your MM, it is expensive stuff in time and money, unless you have spare time and money.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  has55 on 1/19/2015, 3:14 am

@Kelejan wrote:mschaef +1 Sounds a good idea with a little less work needed. 

katjohn83, don't dump your MM, it is expensive stuff in time and money, unless you have spare time and money.

+1

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  sanderson on 1/19/2015, 4:25 am

@Kelejan wrote: don't dump your MM, it is expensive stuff in time and money, unless you have spare time and money.
When I pull out the old veggie plants, I shake the roots or root ball to recover as much MM as possible. Even setting the root balls aside to dry, tearing apart the root ball, and shaking out some more.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  plantoid on 1/19/2015, 8:35 am

One particular deep bed has produced all manner of pernicious perennial weeds  despite me weeding & disturbing the top regularly ..  Thistles , couch grass & comfrey were the main offenders as they can still grow from tiny bits left broken off deep down .

 
In the end I use a hand trigger pack of Round Up to clear the bed once & for all after I'd made an ant splash screen out of cardboard to fit inside the bed .

This year another two or three beds will also get the Round Up treatment... it serves me right for fliling the bottom 20 inches of each 36 inch deep bed with fresh green uncomposted stable muck & beddings four or five years ago . 

" Ye reap what Ye sow " seems the appropriate comment here  Laughing .

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my 2 cents

Post  steve638 on 1/19/2015, 9:32 am

Personally, I would pull out as much plants and roots.  Put them in the compost pile.  I may, if time allows dump everything out.  Line it with weed fabric and refill with mel's mix.  If your bins are taller, can you reduce the size to 6 inches in height?  You can always rebuild your way back slowly.  I don't know your composting methods, you may not be able to produce enough fast enough.  

Food for thought, if you have deep containers, have you considered lining the bottom with upside down buckets, in the book it mentions plants mainly only use the top 6 inches of soil.  So a 36 inch tall planter box would be filled unnecessarily to 32"s with mels mix.  That's expensive, maybe if you have enough other fillers to bring the height back up?  Though my personal opion if I do taller boxes would to be have 8 to 10 inches of mels mix for the top area. 

If the bottom layer is items to be decomposed red wiggler worms don't go to the bottom level's they usually stay in the top 8 inches.  

Also here's a thought,  if your using 1" x 6" lengths of wood for the border.  Get a corner block that is 36" in length with 1" groves on each side so you can slot in your 1" x 6" pieces.  This way you build up or down with your system. Your local wood working shop can cut the groves. 

Sincerely, 

Stephen Rager

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  has55 on 1/19/2015, 3:41 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@Kelejan wrote: don't dump your MM, it is expensive stuff in time and money, unless you have spare time and money.
When I pull out the old veggie plants, I shake the roots or root ball to recover as much MM as possible.  Even setting the root balls aside to dry, tearing apart the root ball, and shaking out some more.
same here.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

Post  has55 on 1/19/2015, 3:45 pm

steve638, great suggestions, again MM is expensive in time and money.

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Re: What do I do now ... 1 year later

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