Use of Preen to prep SFG - did I mess up?

greentouch(7b)April 1, 2010

Hellos, all. I have gardened for 30 years, but this is the first SFG attempt. We recycled 8" wide decking boards into three 3'x6' beds and potentially one more 3'x12', plus, an antique horse watering tub that has lost its bottom. We will fence in the whole area when the exact size is set.

The area is so weedy and full sun, heavy clay soil, that we laid heavy cardboard around the bed areas, and mulched that with about 6" of shredded pine trees courtesy of the county. That should keep weeds out of pathways.

Then, I have hand tilled each bed about 4" deep and removed buckets and buckets of wild garlic and weeds. Essentially, the top 3 inches of soil went into the chicken pens to entertain the flock. I hope the eggs don't start tasting like onion or garlic.

Then, I put down Preen today to keep the weeds from coming on up again. (The next step is a heavy layer of newspaper in each bed, topped off with some version of Mel's mix to about 12" deep, including the 3 inches that was discarded. That will leave a few inches at the top of each bed for mulch around plants.)

A neighbor gardener told me today that the Preen was a mistake, in his opinion. He never used it when he was starting out. His entire garden is about 40 ft square and is made up of old tubs, old pottery containers, and big buckets. He grows enormous amounts of veg, herbs and flowers!! So, I almost believe him.

The Preen will be below the plant roots and below the newspaper. What do you think? Big mistake?

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I don't think it is a huge problem, unless you plan on planting below the preen line. Supposedly it just keeps seeds from breaking through where it is laid. You may still have have bulbs or tubers go through it, as preen mostly is effective against annual re-seeding weeds. I've had bulb weeds and other perennials come through newspaper and six inches of mulch in just one season of growing.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Thanks. It is depressing to think that the garlic or wild onion can still come up through all that!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 10:28PM
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