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Weeds

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Weeds

Post  Kelejan on 5/12/2011, 9:53 pm

I have only been on this board for a few days but so far I have not seen anything about weeding.

When I started last year I had forgotten that weeds must love Mel's Mix just as much as the veggies. I had some good results from my first try but by the end of the year the weeds had taken over and I had given up.

This year I must do better, so I went out weedhunting and found that the first planted bed already had started dozens of tiny weeds. I could tell them apart from evrything else so that was good. It took me about five minutes to clear them from the first bed, it was so easy.

The second bed was planted a week later, no weeds yet but just a few radishes showing but in a week I am sure that with all the rain and sunshine we are getting, the weeds will be there.

So, how often should I weed? Every day? Definately every week. Should I try putting blackcloth down in strips?

I really, really would like my squares to look as gorgeous and weed free in the fall as they do now.

Some of my mix does contain some of my own compost so I know I can expect weeds.
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Re: Weeds

Post  Unmutual on 5/12/2011, 10:24 pm

Welcome to the SFG Forums Kelejan!

I'm sure others could add to this troubleshooting, but did you place a weed blocking fabric under the SFG bed? What kind(s) of compost did you use? Compost needs to heat up to kill seeds, which normally happens in a happy compost pile.

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Re: Weeds

Post  boffer on 5/12/2011, 10:29 pm

Weeding...hmmm....if I could still fit into one of my tuxedos, I would take a video of how hard it is to do weeding in a tabletop! It's down right fun!

The reality is, is where there is a growing medium, there will be weeds. Period. Heck, I get weeds growing in the dirt trapped in the door weatherstripping of my pickup.

I think of weeds as thieves stealing nutrients from my veggies. When I water, I'm on the lookout for weeds. When I want to relax, or get some alone time, or enjoy the quiet of a sunset or sunrise, I cruise my veggie gardens looking for weeds. It's not work; it's a lifestyle change.

With SFG, there are 80% fewer weeds to worry about. And being in a raised bed, they're a lot easier to pick. There is much satisfaction to be had in killing those suckers!
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Re: Weeds

Post  Kelejan on 5/12/2011, 10:48 pm

Thanks Unmutual and Boffer.

Although my compost looks lovely, I don't think it really heats up enough.

I think I will train myself to do at least 15 minutes per day weeding, then I will only have to deal with the newbies as they come along. I do know that if I neglect it, all those lovely little weed seedlings will take over as each tiny, tiny, two-leafed weed seedling will grow into a full-sized plant that makes more weed seeds.

Is there an easy way to sterilize one's homemade compost to kill the seeds and seedlings at birth?
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Re: Weeds

Post  ashort on 5/12/2011, 10:55 pm

I hate nut sedge. Its about the only weed I have seen so far...
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Re: Weeds

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/12/2011, 11:02 pm

Kelejan,

Weeding is generally a non issue. Yes there will be a few weeds, blown in by the wind or dropped by a bird, but in general, just being out and watering or just looking at your garden, you will see if a stray weed has wandered by to visit so you can pluck it out. I am really glad your first effort at weeding was simple and easy.

Did you place weedblock between the ground and your Mel's Mix? Perhaps you are getting weeds from the native soil under your SFG bed.

When I gardened using Mel's older method of amending my own garden soil, I did have the weeds from
H E dbl hockey sticks and I have to admit, those truly got the best of me. Now that I am using table tops with Mel's Mix there is no contact with the native soil, so next to no weeds. Actually I planted my first bed on 4/3 and found 1 weed to date.
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Re: Weeds

Post  Kelejan on 5/12/2011, 11:05 pm

I have never heard of nut sedge and as you live in Texas, ashort, I don't think we will be seeing any of it, but please make sure your shoes are clean when you cross the boarder into Canada, then you are more than welcome. lol.

I'll try to do the same when I cross the border into your fair land. Very Happy

Furballsmom, I put down cardboard but the twitch grass grew through, so I amd redoing the beds and put down black weedbarrier so I hope that will do for two or three years. How long should this barrier last? I do know that if there is any chink, the grass will find its way through. Sad
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Re: Weeds

Post  Unmutual on 5/13/2011, 6:37 am

I think most weed blocking fabric is made from polyethylene(a plastic), which will outlast you. Unless you stick it with a cultivation tool that is. I'm with everyone else on this though, tabletop gardens aren't just for people with disabilities. I'm 39 and my TT SFGs have a lot less weeds than brand new ground level SFG boxes.

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Re: Weeds

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 5/13/2011, 7:17 am

If your weeds are getting the best of you, 6-8 weeks before you plant a garden water it and cover it in clear plastic. Lap the plastic over the edges and "seal it."This will encourage the weeds to grow and as a result they will get fried. I would think it would be easy to do one garden at a time. There is no reason you could not attack the weed project at the end of the season. Once you get it under control solar sterilize your new compost. I hope this make sense, as it is rather early for me to type.

Patty in Yorktown
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Re: Weeds

Post  walshevak on 5/13/2011, 9:37 am

control solar sterilize your new compost.


Explain please


Kay

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Re: Weeds

Post  nancy on 5/13/2011, 9:43 am

My poor sweet garden has been flooded 3 times this year. I know that there is a lot of great stuff the river left behind, but it also dumped a TON of weed seeds in my beds. I mean a TON!! What I have found easiest is to stir the dirt in the empty squares. The weeds sort of float to the top and I can scoop them out. If they are in a square that I have planted, I just pull them when it's convenient for me. Sometimes I spend a few minutes on one particular square, other times I just try to grab the biggest ones. I can be very soothing. I let my mind wander, or I listen to the birds and frogs. It is an issue this year, but it won't be next year. Very Happy
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Re: Weeds

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/13/2011, 9:49 am

@nancy wrote:My poor sweet garden has been flooded 3 times this year. I know that there is a lot of great stuff the river left behind, but it also dumped a TON of weed seeds in my beds. I mean a TON!! What I have found easiest is to stir the dirt in the empty squares. The weeds sort of float to the top and I can scoop them out. If they are in a square that I have planted, I just pull them when it's convenient for me. Sometimes I spend a few minutes on one particular square, other times I just try to grab the biggest ones. I can be very soothing. I let my mind wander, or I listen to the birds and frogs. It is an issue this year, but it won't be next year. Very Happy

Sometimes I spend a few minutes on one particular square, other times I
just try to grab the biggest ones. I can be very soothing. I let my
mind wander, or I listen to the birds and frogs. It is an issue this
year, but it won't be next year. Very Happy

I too find it so easy, at first I was so bummed when I saw how many weeds the wind and weather had given me in my boxes. Once I started with freshly weeded squares (thanks to one of my wonderful sons) I find it very easy to just pluck a few or do the whole square. I will sometimes pick a whole bed to do as well. I too find it therapeutic (sp), I get lost in the task and before I know its all done. Its one of the easier things to do. Listening to things in the garden is also one of the things I like, with so many birds and other wild things. I hear turkeys in the morning I love that Smile
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Re: Weeds

Post  Kelejan on 5/13/2011, 10:25 am

Pattu from York, that sounds like an excellent idea and easy to apply.

I think or would also work for one square at a time. Before planting jsut cover that square with the plastic until you are ready to seed or transplant. I will give it a try.

Several ideas here that I can have a go at.

Thanks, folks! Very Happy

I think also seeing the pictures of all your weed-free SFGs will really give me motivation.

I have just discovered a trowel as a cursor. For me this is a fun thing.

Another thought: I have found that it helps when I change my attitude to doing what can be considered chores, it has worked wonders for me in the past.
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Re: Weeds

Post  Miss M on 5/13/2011, 11:01 am

On sterilizing soil -- I have some Mel's Mix that I have pulled out of the garden, because I had to remove some potato plants that developed Black Leg (infected seed potatoes). I plan on sterilizing the soil I have removed.

Since covering a bed with plastic (some use clear, some use black... theoretically, clear could be better, but they both apparently work) causes it to heat up to the point at which weeds are killed and the MM is sterilized, I am going to try something similar with the MM I have removed.

It is in a big, black plastic bag. I'm going to close the bag and lay it down on the driveway in the sun, and spread it out. That should kill the bacteria and sterilize the MM.

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Re: Weeds

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 5/13/2011, 1:25 pm

Hi,
Somebody else answered how to solarize your soil. I should have put a comma between control and solarize. I do not think it would work if you just do a square at a time. You need to get the soil really hot. I find weeding a bit relaxing, as I do a lot of day dreaming that way or talking on the phone. When I am done, I still have something to show for my time.

Patty in Yorktown
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Re: Weeds

Post  quiltbea on 5/13/2011, 2:22 pm

I'm retired so I usually go out every day, sometimes twice a day, to check on what's happening with what's planted or sown.

If I see a weed taking hold near my babies, I just pull it up. I know that if you let them go, they will crowd out everything in just a couple of days.

You don't want to disturb the soil too deeply to get the weeds or you'll just pull up dormant weed seeds to the top that will flourish in a few days , so weed shallowly.



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Re: Weeds

Post  HPartin on 5/13/2011, 3:43 pm

Despite using weed block in some of my boxes and cardboard and newspapers in others, I still have weeds. I think they blow in witht he wind. The thing that has me tied in knots is Bermuda grass. Neither barriers have helped and it grows FAST.

Good luck with yours!

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Re: Weeds

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/13/2011, 5:38 pm

Weed a little every time you check on your SFG. That way it's never overwhelming.

Everything in life needs to be broken up and dealt with consistently, imo. From housework to playing with kids to weeding your SFG. If you skip it once, it gets even easier to skip again.....but the problems grow like the weeds. Before you know it, you are out of routine and the bathroom is a mess, your kids are grown, and your veggies are camoflauged by the weeds.

Just dedictate a little of your day to weeding and you won't have the problems you've had in the past.

Happy Gardening!
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Re: Weeds

Post  Kelejan on 5/13/2011, 5:46 pm

I reckon I've got it now, BBG.

Heidi, my problem weed apart from couch grass is horsetail (or mare's tail). We have an invasion of it around our way, it was not the problem it is now when we moved 13 years ago. Just like keeping one's sink shiny; spend a few minutes a day and it will seldom need a deep clean. Courtesy of the Flylady, a site I use to keep me on track in my home.


I think our next problems will be pet rabbits that have adapted to freedom. Two years ago I saw one white and one sandy coloured. Last year a total of seven rabbits at one time. People feed them.
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Re: Weeds

Post  ashort on 5/13/2011, 5:48 pm

@HPartin wrote:Despite using weed block in some of my boxes and cardboard and newspapers in others, I still have weeds. I think they blow in witht he wind. The thing that has me tied in knots is Bermuda grass. Neither barriers have helped and it grows FAST.

Good luck with yours!

Heidi



Bermuda grass is from the deebul.....

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Re: Weeds

Post  HPartin on 5/14/2011, 2:33 am

Ha! Yes it is!

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Re: Weeds

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/14/2011, 9:17 am

@ashort wrote:
@HPartin wrote:Despite using weed block in some of my boxes and cardboard and newspapers in others, I still have weeds. I think they blow in witht he wind. The thing that has me tied in knots is Bermuda grass. Neither barriers have helped and it grows FAST.

Good luck with yours!

Heidi



Bermuda grass is from the deebul.....


Bermuda grass is from the deebul.....
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Re: Weeds

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