dlahrson Seedling

dlahrson

Weeds in a vegetable garden

Last season my vegetable garden was overrun by weeds, I could not keep on top of them by pulling I just had to give up. I did have vegetables grow in amongst the weeds.  This year I am looking for something I can do before I plant (by the end of May) to get rid of the weeds. I am fairly new to gardening so I don't know what I can put in the garden to combat them that wouldn't hurt the vegetables or pets. My husband said we might have to dig out the soil and put new soil down but if I can do something else I would rather not have to remove the soil. HELP!!

Views: 2198 Replies: 4 Date: 2013-03-25T20:49:39.000Z
Result Count: 4
 
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towngardener

Re: Weeds in a vegetable garden

Mulch, mulch, mulch!  I use straw (not hay, that brings more weeds)  Also, I fill in all available space with plants (sticking to or going slightly closer than spacing recommendations)--less room for weeds.  I weed a lot when they are tiny sprouts, so they don't go to seed, and I have raised beds.  Once the squash and corn get going, I don't bother--they can handle the weeds, and shade a lot out anyway.  If I don't have any plants I'm wintering over, I'll use Round-up in the fall, and spring (watching out for my herbs).  I also roto-till every spring.  Each year gets better.

2013-04-29T17:57:37.000Z

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  KateCopsey Soil Stomper

KateCopsey

Re: Weeds in a vegetable garden

Have you thought of raised beds? The soil mix that you put into a raised bed is basically weed free and they vegetables grow well in the soft soil. I also find it much easier to control the weeds. On average I spent 15 mins per bed last year per week which is considerably less than if I had tilled up a garden. Mel's book (mentioned above) is a great primer but there are also lots of variations on the theme - so check your local library.

If you continue with the tilled bed, make sure that it is not too big.  One of the biggest problems for beginning gardeners is too till up an area that is beyond managing and that makes the effort less successful in the end. So start small, till and cover with a few inches of compost. The plant and mulch well. Be vigilant and spend a few minutes each evening with a hoe or hand weeder to keep the weeds at bay.

2013-04-24T18:27:30.000Z

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  hessianguy

hessianguy

Re: Weeds in a vegetable garden

I agree that weeds are a huge problem with most vegetable gardens. Here is what I do, mostly:

1) Most of my vegetables get mulched, by my putting down old newspapers or brown paper which is available from your local home center in the paint department, and then adding a layer of straw or other mulch to keep the paper from blowing away. This makes your garden essentially weed free all summer and the papers gradually rot and get tilled into the soil at the next spring. Most newspapers are printed with an organic nontoxic soy based ink, so they are not toxic to you or your garden.

2) I own a mini-tiller that weighs only ~20 lbs and can easily tear through weeds, especially when they are small. For crops that are not conducive to mulching like corn, I just run the tiller though there maybe once every other week, being careful not to till too deep near the growing crops.

3) A third strategy is to employ Mel Bartholomew's method, popularized in his book, "Square Foot Gardening", available on amazon and in most book stores and home centers. Weeding is a breeze using his methods.

Good Luck

2013-04-24T16:03:30.000Z

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  Soil Stomper

Capnahab

Re: Weeds in a vegetable garden

You can cover the garden with landscape fabric, layers of wet newspaper or black plastic and then cut holes to transplant through. Some areas will have to be cut larger for your crops that you direct sow like carrots but then you are only weeding a smaller area. Every year you should have less weeds.

2013-03-31T14:15:00.000Z

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