Soooo many weeds

kbard(6b PA)March 5, 2013

I have a big problem. Many weeds and too little time. I have about 1.6 acres and many out of control beds. One bed is basically blank except for some smallish stuff and is about 20'x4', currently covered in creeping charlie and dead crabgrass from last year. Another bed is in an "8" shape in the middle of the yard, and is about 10'x30'. It has an ornamental cherry, a birch, some lilies and a holly bush, but other than that is FULL of weeds and I mean bad- see attached pic. Other than that I have some beds in better shape, a couple that are 10'x10', one about 3 feet deep the whole way around the deck which is about 25 feet long, and not to bore you but there are many other beds too.
Last year was the first growing season with the house and since I didn't know what would come up I didn't do much of anything and now I regret it especIlly the huge 8-shaped bed.
Last weekend I started pulling weeds and preening.... Bt it's just such slow going and I work 45+ hours per week and almost always get home after dark on weekdays. I could easily have 1500 sq ft of beds.
I'm just afraid I won't get to even put preen down before I get to half of the beds. Your advice? Should I preen right over the dead (annual) weeds from last year on the ones I don't think I'll get to? Or mulch and preen? The beds are pretty much all full sun. I wouldn't want to use just a weed spray on everything because there are intermittently placed perennials.
(Eventually may consider eliminating some, but want to just make it look half decent for this season)
Thanks!

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

'Weeds' can be indicators about your soil and what your soil problems might be. Then many 'weeds' are wildflowers. A 'weed' is just a plant you do not want growing where you do not want it growing.
The Crab Grass you see is dead and will not grow again athough the seeds those plants produced may well. Creeping Charlie is a perennial and indicates your soil probably is nutrient poor and does not drain well. While correcting those problems will not totally eliminate CC it will help some.
Spraying 'weed' killers can create as many or more problems then they solve and will do considerable harm to our environment. Using mulches is one good method of 'weed' control. Newspaper or cardboard placed on the soil, over these 'weeds' will deprive them of the sunlight they need to grow so they die. While mulches are not the total solution to 'weed' problems they do help quite a lot and if vegetative types of material are used they also provide, over time, organic matter to the soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: weeds as soil indicators

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:36AM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

I have used newspaper and cardboard to cover areas and block weed growth and it works great. Cut the weeds down so the newspaper lays pretty flat (about 6 sheets thick) and you can rip it or fold it to contour around desirable plants. Don't let the newspaper touch the plant stems. Then you will need mulch to hold the paper down. I use bags of shredded leaves that I collected in fall from other people's curbs.

This way you will not need to kill or pull the weeds. Most will rot under the paper. For beds that have no good plants in them or at least large areas in between, you can lay big pieces of cardboard. Then mulch on top to hold it down and look better.

If you weed an area, the weeds will probably just come back if you don't block them. There are so many weed seeds just waiting to sprout. Plus the perennial weeds that haven't been completely killed (broken off roots, leftover plant crowns) I believe the Preen is unnecessary in areas you use a paper covering.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:01AM
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