Smothering

MrTurkleAugust 25, 2013

Hey guys - usual deal here: first time home owner, new to gardening, etc - we have a small, circular belgian-block enclosed garden in our front yard that has been totally over run with weeds. I pulled out the large weeds and got as much of the roots as possible. There are a lot of small weeds still left and some old mulch in there. I read about "smothering" on this site with newspaper and mulch and would like to go in that direction - should I till the soil to tear up the small weeds I can't get by the roots? Or just cover them up and wait 6 weeks for it all to die? Should we spray it with an chemical first? We will likely plant a tree out there and maybe some small bushes around it. Any advice you can give would be great.

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Since you still are not certain of what you want to do, the big thing is eliminating the weeds. Pulling by the roots is a big part of the chore, but more will come back (it is one of nature's fun things).

Many weeds go to seed real quick and will spread their seeds that you might not see for several years. Chemicals, burning, smothering: any or all might not get them all. Once you till, some seeds that were deeper will be brought up and they will haunt you. Welcome to gardening!

Most practical option is that newspapers and cardboard are great for eliminating light and maybe creating lots of heat this time of year. Spread either and then toss something on top to keep them from going away. A light layer of mulch or a little soil, whichever you have handy.

In the spring, after you have decided what to do with that space, the soil should have been loosened naturally and ready for whatever you have decided. After you plant, then you should put down your permanent mulch.

Jim

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

There's some info about an almost identical situation here. Do these inputs help you feel like you know what you can do about it?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:46PM
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