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A weed story with a happy ending

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A weed story with a happy ending

Post  milaneyjane on 7/15/2010, 11:33 pm

Ok, I moaned about it earlier this week that I had a TON of weeding to do in my large row garden of corn and my vine garden. Goodness sakes!!! They were getting as tall as the corn!

My father gave me his Toro weed eater last year when he moved into his condo even though we alread had one. He had these great attachments for it including a saw and thought I might be able to use it in my garden projects. The ONLY attachment he didn't have was the tiller attachment. After all the money I spent getting my SFG up and running this year, I didn't have the $100 to buy it and all week I have been trying to figure out where I could get the attachment.

My neighbor who so graciously helped me construct my boxes came over yesterday and was completely astonished and jealous of my SFG. And then she looked at my corn rows being overtaken by weeds. The rows are too close together to fit a regular tiller in there since I planted them extra close. And then she said, "It is too bad my weed whacker doesn't work. I have the tiller attachment for it just sitting in my garage and it would work perfectly!" I about fell over. I told her that I had the Weed Eater but needed the tiller attachment. How ironic is that? Needless to say I was doing the happy dance!! I spent an hour out there tonight going between the rows and tomorrow I will tackle the weeds between the SFG boxes and not have to resort to round up. I know Mel says no need to til, but it does a great job between the boxes when a person doesn't mulch

If only I could manage enough SFG's for all the corn a family of five needs for freezing and canning. Any creative suggestions for next year? Right now I have 10 rows each about 20 feet long. I already have plans to put the vine crops in SFG next year.

milaneyjane

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  boffer on 7/16/2010, 12:17 am

Hi,

I read your post asking about weeding suggestions. My favorite weeding tool is a propane weed burning torch, but it wouldn't work well in your corn field in the middle of the season!

I can't justify SFG for corn either. My raised bed is about 8x25, and that's a lot of MM! Because our spring weather was so cool and wet this year, I put black plastic over half the bed to see if it would help with germination. It helped a little in the beginning, but the other half has caught up. What I am realizing is that the plastic is doing a great job keeping down the weeds. Usually, I keep up with the weeds until the corn gets taller than them, then I say the heck with it, and let it turn into a jungle.

I put down the plastic, and then put an X, with about 4 inch legs, at the appropriate place. I plant at 12 inch seed spacing and 12 inch row spacing. So far, I'm very encouraged with how it's working. There are just a few weeds poking out around the stalks. If both sides get similar harvests, black plastic will become the norm for me.

boffer

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  Chopper on 7/16/2010, 12:21 am

I don't know. But I never let that stop me from answering.

I have a 4X4 of corn and beans and some radishes for companion planting purposes. Of that 4 squares are just zucchini (1 zuc in the 4 squares). I planted 2 corn and bean per square and they all took. Somehow I have 25 corn plants for 12 squares.

The soil is completely shaded and I have no weeds. Or at least I can't see any, and I look. So, I am not sure why you have them. If they were already in the soil you used or they blew in, but mine ended up like Mel suggests - plant close enough and you will squeeze out the weeds. Not sure if that's what did it or not, those are just my results.

***Just read boffer's suggestion and the weed mat sounds like something you can count on more than shade!

Zuke side:


Corn only side:

Chopper

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  milaneyjane on 7/16/2010, 1:49 am

Boffer-
My favorite weeding tool is a propane weed burning torch
I LOVE it! That is seriously a brilliant idea. I debated doing the plastic at the beginning of the season. I did it last year between my vine crops (pre SFG) and it was a dream. The problem I run into, is the site where I rotated the corn to this year. The rows curve around and they are on a slight slope. The rain would absolutely ruin the flower beds below and act like a waterfall. Next year if I plant corn in the "back" garden where I have the vine crops now I will absolutely go the plastic route---it is nice and level. So you yours in a giant raised bed? Do you always use it for corn?

Chopper- I don't have them in SFG....the corn is still in a row garden off to the side. I will have to dig up some pictures from an old post. It is an entire garden just of corn.....bigger than all my SFG's combined.

milaneyjane

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Pre Weeds--doesn't show the slope very well.

Post  milaneyjane on 7/16/2010, 2:19 am


milaneyjane

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  Chopper on 7/16/2010, 2:50 am

Like I said, knowing nothing never stopped me from giving advice! LOL. And...WOW.

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  silverbug on 7/16/2010, 7:15 am

Ooh, your garden is beautiful!!! Sooooo jealous of that space. (not so much of all the work with that corn plant/harvest/processing though...)

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  martha on 7/16/2010, 11:06 am

@silverbug wrote:Ooh, your garden is beautiful!!! Sooooo jealous of that space. (not so much of all the work with that corn plant/harvest/processing though...)

this!

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  boffer on 7/16/2010, 11:21 am

@milaneyjane wrote:
@boffer wrote:My favorite weeding tool is a propane weed burning torch
Boffer- I LOVE it! That is seriously a brilliant idea. .... So you yours in a giant raised bed? Do you always use it for corn?

Better not get me started talking about tools! I'm guessing that using a bottle of propane a year to burn weeds is less harmful than using weed killing chemicals. And it is so much more satisfying to watch those dandelions curl up and die! get that pesky wabbi

My corn bed is outlined with 6-10 inch rocks. This is my fifth straight year. I dump 3-4 inches of compost on top each year. Fresh corn is the only veggie I'm willing to work this hard for!

(anybody know what Martha's post means? thinking )

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

Post  Wyldflower on 7/16/2010, 1:09 pm

I think she means she agrees with the quoted post. (I do too!)

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Re: A weed story with a happy ending

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