Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:45 am

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:36 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:17 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:13 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 8:51 pm

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 8:46 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by sanderson Yesterday at 8:30 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality Yesterday at 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 4:14 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:32 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 12:32 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 10:56 am

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:36 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Yesterday at 9:46 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:39 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:30 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:28 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 5:46 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker 12/2/2016, 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:14 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 12/2/2016, 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess 12/2/2016, 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals 12/2/2016, 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals 12/2/2016, 12:52 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Removing grass & weeds

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Removing grass & weeds

Post  plb on 3/8/2010, 11:53 am

In the SFG book, I read I need to remove grass and weeds before putting the box in a location. Does that mean I can just mow it and put a weed barrier cloth between the soil and the box, or does it mean I need to dig out the upper layer of the soil to remove the grass?

plb

Posts : 111
Join date : 2010-03-08
Location : England (South)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  rob.emenaker on 3/8/2010, 12:01 pm

You need to remove the grass completely down to dirt just to be safe. Then put down your weed barrier. I dreaded doing this because it seems like a lot of work, but head to your local hardware store and buy something called a sod-knife. If you can't find one of those get a linoleum-knife. It has a hook blade that is really strong. Build your boxes, set them down where you want em, then run that sod-knife around the outer edge of the box. Then take the box away and proceed to cut 10" strips or so. Then start one end of where you cut with a shovel and just pull it up with your hands. Mine came up easy as carpet! Of course it's nice and moist here in Indiana so your results may vary. But do yourself the favor and take the time to pull up the grass and weeds instead of mowing it low. It's an afternoon of assurance that you won't regret later.

Rob Emenaker
http://robssfg.com

rob.emenaker

Male Posts : 37
Join date : 2010-03-04
Age : 42
Location : Avon, Indiana

View user profile http://robssfg.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  boffer on 3/8/2010, 12:02 pm

Hi plb,

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the question.

The correct answer is: it depends. If you have normal, well-behaved grass, you could lay your weedblock right on top of the grass, and it won't grow through. Some forum members scattered around the country are plagued by tenacious, ruthless weeds that a nuke barely slows down. They've gone so far as to dig the lawn out and pour a foot of concrete to keep their weeds at bay.

You'll have to decide where you fit within that spectrum. Have you been able to find vermiculite in your area for your Mel's mix?

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  boffer on 3/8/2010, 12:04 pm

LOL, Rob beat me to it! His advice falls in the middle. Decisions, decisions...

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Block the grass

Post  SirTravers on 3/8/2010, 12:05 pm

With grass being as aggressive as it is I would want to remove it from the area. If your back and shoulders are like mine though I'd think putting down some cardboard like other folks have suggested and then stapling weed barrier fabric to the bottom of your box would be an option.

SirTravers

Male Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-01
Age : 43
Location : Hobbs New MExico, Zone 7A/7B

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  boffer on 3/8/2010, 12:06 pm

3 answers in 3 minutes-kewl

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  plb on 3/8/2010, 12:28 pm

*Sigh* As a beginner, it's hard to judge how bad the weeds are... I guess I should make the effort to dig it out, just in case...

As for the vermiculite, it took a while, but I found this:
http://www.william-sinclair.co.uk/industrial/products/vermiculite/v4_coarse
I emailed them, since only their finer grade vermiculite is marked as horticultural grade, but they said that the only reason why they don't mark the V4 as horticultural grade is because nobody in this country uses it for it (well, except me now). They assured me it's the same grade as the finer horticultural one, and that it has been tested to be asbestos free. They gave me the address of local retailers, and offered to ship some to me at a reasonable price if I couldn't find it locally. I bought it from a local building materials company, easy peasy.

plb

Posts : 111
Join date : 2010-03-08
Location : England (South)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Removing Grass

Post  marylinb618 on 3/17/2010, 6:15 pm

Since the start up cost of this method is SO HIGH (looks like about $100 per 4x4 box) I decided I was not going to skimp and would follow all directions to the letter. Everyone seemed to be indicating that it was not too difficult to dig up the grass and that it was the best choice.

After an hour an a half of backbreaking work I have managed to cut around the outside of one 4x4 box and remove about 12 square inches of soil. There is NO WAY most people are going to be able to do this. Anyone with even the slightest back problems shouldn't even try.

The other HUGE problem with removing the grass? Now your box is sitting in the lowest point in the area where all the water will gather. This can't be good.

I'm thinking of ways to get around this problem other than adding to the already very high cost. (The huge startup price will be made up over the years, right? I keep telling myself that.)

I'm going to try placing my boxes on top of those "puzzle piece" foam flooring squares or 4x4 squares of indoor/outdoor carpeting. A 4x4 piece of plywood is quite expensive and wouldn't fit in my car at any rate, but if you can use a plywood bottom then I guess you could also use something like this.

Anyone with other ideas please post. I'd appreciate it as I've already spent too much to abandon this project.

marylinb618

Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-03-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/17/2010, 6:46 pm

Oh! What a cool idea. Now I'm wondering how hiking foam would work? Probably the seams would let sneaky shoot through.... but if there was plastic under that ....hummm.

Anyway, I like the way you think ....now where is the lady from Holland?

Deborah ....who gave up multi day hiking because of her sternum so I have it sitting about.

Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  timwardell on 3/17/2010, 6:47 pm

@marylinb618 wrote:Since the start up cost of this method is SO HIGH (looks like about $100 per 4x4 box) I decided I was not going to skimp and would follow all directions to the letter. <edit> I'm thinking of ways to get around this problem other than adding to the already very high cost. (The huge startup price will be made up over the years, right? I keep telling myself that.).

YES, the price will be made up over the years. Very Happy You won't have to do much of anything next year, or the year after that, or the year after... you get the idea. Mel says he's had the same Mel's Mix (or does he call it "My Mix"?) in his beds for 15 years. ... Don't know if you've ever done a vegetable garden the old fashioned way (using the traditional row method)... if you haven't imagine doing all the hard work you're doing right now ALL SUMMER LONG. Sad The weeding never ends. Once you get over the "start-up hump" it does get easier and more fun.

timwardell

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-03-02
Location : Frisco, Texas

View user profile http://www.timwardell.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  timwardell on 3/17/2010, 6:55 pm

@plb wrote:In the SFG book, I read I need to remove grass and weeds before putting the box in a location. Does that mean I can just mow it and put a weed barrier cloth between the soil and the box, or does it mean I need to dig out the upper layer of the soil to remove the grass?

As others have said, the only sure way to have no weeds is to remove the weeds. In Texas, we have this evil thing called bermuda grass. It sends off runners, is VERY invasive, and is used by practically every freakin' home builder because it creates an "instant" yard because of it's aggressive nature. That said, when I installed a 18' x 18' butterfly garden last year I rented a sod cutter. That is NOT for the faint of heart. Imagine wrestling an alligator and you'll have some idea of what using one is like. After that I was done with cutting and removing sod. Soooo... when it came time to install raised beds I put them in place then used a LOT of newspaper under the weed barrier. I did this in February while the dreaded bermuda grass was still dormant. The hope was that the newspaper would smother and kill it before it ever started growing in the spring. It worked for the most part. 98% of the grass was nuked. The remaining 2% I eventually removed by pulling and digging down to the roots. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably use cardboard AND newspaper.

timwardell

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-03-02
Location : Frisco, Texas

View user profile http://www.timwardell.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  LupinFarm on 3/17/2010, 7:09 pm

I didn't remove the grass in part because I started putting my beds in when the ground was still frozen, and also because it seems that when you pull the grass out you just ask the weeds to move in instead out here. I put down newspapers under my beds, and will probably mulch the heck out of it.

My front raised kitchen garden I didn't even use landscape fabric or newspaper, just threw the soil on the ground LOL and we had some weeds, not a lot though. Not unmanageable.

The 'grass' my beds are on is alfalfa-grass hay because it used to be a small hay field.

LupinFarm

Posts : 66
Join date : 2010-03-13
Age : 27
Location : Springbrook, Ont. (Zone 5b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  choksaw on 3/17/2010, 11:54 pm

Lazy man weed removal

Get an old Torch (the type plumbers use to sweat copper joints) keep a hose near by and just light em up lol in no time flatyou will be down to bare scroched soil.

thats i used to do it in my old house for inbetween the patio blocks although i have a stand up type with a BBQ tank on wheels but it took an all day job and dropped it to about 10 minutes.

choksaw

Male Posts : 459
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 41
Location : New Port Richey FL.

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  camprn on 3/20/2010, 9:35 am

Whilst sod busting, one doesn't want to remove too much soil BY digging. Only the top layer of grass, thatch and roots, a few inches at most, are to be lifted. When I remove sod I cut into the lawn with and edger and make squares approx. 6" x 10" then I run my garden fork just under the roots and perpendicular to the surface and pry up the sod. The sod patches either go to fill in bare spaces elsewhere or I stack them root side up near the compost and leave the pile there to die and rot on its own or I will slowly incorporate it into the compost heap.

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Removing grass & weeds

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:14 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum