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removing grass and weeds

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removing grass and weeds

Post  Cathyegar on 3/29/2010, 10:21 am

Is it necessary to remove grass and weeds if you use a fabric barrier? I keep reading conflicting information? Weed killer, grass killer, dig it all up or just put down fabric? What to do?

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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/29/2010, 10:28 am

Ug, I would not want ANY herbicide near my food. If your grass and weeds are that aggressive you could put a few pizza boxes or newspaper under the boxes. Otherwise the fabric should do the trick.

Deborah ....wishing you the best garden ever
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  scbusf on 3/29/2010, 10:36 am

I'm certainly no expert. My plan is to just put down the fabric.

Sherry

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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Wild Bill on 3/29/2010, 10:44 am

I have done one 4x4 box by removing the sod, laying down weed barrier fabric and some cardboard on top of that.

My other 2 4x4's I will just lay down the weed fabric and some cardboard on top.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/29/2010, 11:47 am

I think it just depends on how much work you want to put into it. Technically you could kill the grass with Roundup (or something similar) and a few days later it should be inert and not hurt your plants, but that would destroy one of the fun parts of SFG, it's organic. (If you do do that, don't use the extended control Roundup.) Or you could be aggressive like myself and others and dig out the plants.

But I think if you just put weed barrier on the bottom of your box that will work just fine too. The lack of light along with the physical barrier should just kill the grass. I like the idea of stapling the fabric (or newspaper/cardboard) to the box so that the grass can't get through the sides.
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  swripley on 3/29/2010, 1:14 pm

While new to SFG I have some experience with raised flowers beds and have been waging a 15 years battle with quack grass (that's what I grew up calling it, although I have been known to use more colorful terms). When I put in my flower beds I used several methods - news papers, cardboard, inexpensive weed cloth - all with very mixed results. For my SFG I figure better safe than sorry. I removed the sod from the area under and around the boxes and am using a commericial grade weed cloth. I am also putting weed cloth under the pathways and extending a least a foot beyond all box sides that aren't on a path. I am then covering the weed cloth with pea gravel but only beause that is the material I have used around my flower beds.
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  timwardell on 3/29/2010, 6:10 pm

It depends on how aggressive the weeds and or grass are that you plan to put your raised beds on. My Texas suburban yard was sodded with bermuda grass which sends off runners and can be very invasive if you don't stay on top of it. I opted NOT to remove the sod for my SFG because I had recently removed 400 sq feet for another yard project and it darn near killed me. Thus, I instead opted to lay down many layers of newspaper then my weed barrier which I stapled to the inside of my raised bed. The lack of light combined with the weight of the soil/Mel's Mix smothers the grass. The newspaper eventually breaks down and becomes mulch. It worked 99%. I still had a few strands of bermuda make their way to the top of my 12" beds. It's aggressive stuff.
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Cathyegar on 3/29/2010, 7:39 pm

WOW!! Thanks for the help. I am not super ambitious like some of you...in fact I ordered all my boxes from this web site. So...I may do the roundup then the weed barrier fabric. Just in case. So that would not be considered organic anymore even tho the use of the roundup was under the weed barrier?

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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/29/2010, 8:10 pm

@timwardell wrote:I opted NOT to remove the sod for my SFG because I had recently removed 400 sq feet for another yard project and it darn near killed me.

Did you use a sod cutter? It seems if you were to remove that much, renting a sod cutter would be worth the effort.
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  camprn on 3/29/2010, 9:12 pm

Usually for sod busting, I use my half moon edger to cut squares of sod 6" x 10" , then I lift the sod with my garden fork (my most valuable garden tool). By knocking the sod clump gently against the fork a bit of the soil comes off. I either reuse the sod elsewhere or stack it, roots up, near the compost. I think it took little more than an hour to do one 4'X4' area where I put my garden box. flower

half moon edger:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4512152_use-half-moon-edger-lawn.html
garden boarder fork:
http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk/index.php?mod=3&id=13&rid=1
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  timwardell on 3/29/2010, 10:05 pm

@Kabaju42 wrote:
@timwardell wrote:I opted NOT to remove the sod for my SFG because I had recently removed 400 sq feet for another yard project and it darn near killed me.
Did you use a sod cutter? It seems if you were to remove that much, renting a sod cutter would be worth the effort.
Yes. I rented a sod cutter. Ever wrestle with an angry alligator? It's about the same thing. Shocked
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Starting beds

Post  nmplantlady on 3/29/2010, 10:31 pm

Hi -

Here's another idea ... if you've not the energy, time or finances to pull out grass ...

Try some heavy cardboard ... place on the ground where you want to plant. Buy some topsoil (or whatever you want) and cut the bag open ... leave about 2" of the plastic on its sides ... plant IN THE BAG!! This will last about a year ... you can, the next year, remove the plastic and plant ... the cardboard will be mostly deteriorated ... but, it also will have killed the grass and weeds ... you could then, if you wanted to, plant IN the ground or put up the raised beds.

I'm not rich and can't afford the lumber for the beds .... but, I'm doing a similar thing in my high-desert garden ... at some point, I'll be able to erradicate my pigweed and bindweed!! Am using cardboard all over the yard I'm trying to stake out ... and am mulching with shredded paper ... recycling is best and in our windy area, the paper, once wet down, doesn't MOVE at all!!!

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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/29/2010, 10:34 pm

@timwardell wrote:
@Kabaju42 wrote:
@timwardell wrote:I opted NOT to remove the sod for my SFG because I had recently removed 400 sq feet for another yard project and it darn near killed me.
Did you use a sod cutter? It seems if you were to remove that much, renting a sod cutter would be worth the effort.
Yes. I rented a sod cutter. Ever wrestle with an angry alligator? It's about the same thing. Shocked

But, they make it look so easy on TV. I haven't tried wrestling an alligator, but it's good to know that I can get the same experience for slightly less danger.
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Re: removing grass and weeds

Post  Wild Bill on 3/30/2010, 4:42 pm

@nmplantlady wrote:
Try some heavy cardboard ... place on the ground where you want to plant. Buy some topsoil (or whatever you want) and cut the bag open ... leave about 2" of the plastic on its sides ... plant IN THE BAG!! This will last about a year ... you can, the next year, remove the plastic and plant ... the cardboard will be mostly deteriorated ... but, it also will have killed the grass and weeds ... you could then, if you wanted to, plant IN the ground or put up the raised beds.



My Mom did this last year with her tomato plants believe it or not. They did ok by this method. The earthboxes still out performed all other methods I have tried.

Make your own ----> http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/

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