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How do you keep weeds down?

Posted by jlynn 4 WY (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 31, 06 at 11:48

Great to find this forum! I have MS and some pretty severe mobility issues at times. Last year I had problems keeping up with the weeding. I finally had to resort to hiring a friend's boys to catch me up.

Am trying to plan ahead for this years garden and thinking of ways to keep weeding to a minimum. Have any of you used that black fabric stuff that is supposed to stop weeds? How did it work? Any other suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

Use 6-10 layers of newspapers with shredded leaves, straw, and/or coffee grounds on top, its organic so it will break down in the soil and is better for the soil than weed cloth. No need to worry about having too many layers of mulch, more is more often than not better.

I've found that with the extra nutrients and moisture retention from the thick mulch the plants will grow bigger and crowd out most weeds anyways.

If you're gardening with rows of vegetables you can change to using wide beds (2 ft wide if against a wall, 4 ft wide if there are paths on both sides). This will also reduce the amount of weeds, since groups of plants reduce the area for weeds to grow in.

When planting in rows weeds can grow on both sides of the row, so the weed circumference to planting area ratio is large. When planting in wide beds the weed circumference to planting area ratio is smaller, so less weeding is needed.

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

buffburd is so right..there's something I'd like to add to it. .I don't know exactly how you are gardening, (tilling?) but, if you quit tilling altogether, you can get ahead of all the local weeds in the garden. Some will blow in, sure, but I quit tilling in my main garden about four years ago, pull a week before it goes to seed, and since you are not turning the ground over and exposing more seeds, you will find a great new way. Rather than pay a weeder, pay someone to bring you their leaves, spoiled hay, and the like. Lasagna gardening. Make your own soil this way. The earthworms will come back since you are not destroying their work, your ph will balance.. it's a great thing. I go by the old saying "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
She will leap to your cause if you give her the right deal.
Does this make sense?
Best... Homegrown
P.S. I see you are in Wyoming, so slugs are likely not a problem. that's the only setback with close mulch.

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

Newspaper, cardboard and old clothes just barely covered with mulch to look good.

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

LOVE the old clothes hint! Maybe that is what i'll do with all the fabric I have here now that I've stopped quilting??? :D

newspaper, not disturbing the dirt, and a ton of mulch, works great. The key is NOT to let the sun hit those dormant weed seeds, and to pluck the few that will blow in as they grow.

I'm going to BEG you NOT to use the weed cloth!!! When we bought our house nine years ago there was weed cloth in all the gardens, as well as plenty of weeds. (house was empty for two years). Back then I was healthy, and could tackle it, but it took me two years to get the weeds out and that cloth gone. I'd never have the strenght to do that now.

I also have MS, diagnosed 18 months ago, and am on disability now, so I know some of the mobility issues you are facing. I also have degenerative disk disease, and it sure is messing up my neck, LOL, sporting a shiny new plate from T1-C4 now, so keeping weeds down is my HIGHEST priority at this point.

and that is how i'll be doing mine! It's worked for me in the past, problem is, you still have to keep up with putting down newspaper, as it does decompose!

Let the worms do the work, just give them new stuff to come up and get!!! most of all, never hesitate to get the muscle in whatever way you can, i'm finding money talks, but guilt laid on my kids works cheaper :D

wishing you a ton of luck!!!

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

My flower gardens are very large and I realized a couple years ago that even mulching would no longer be an option for me. I knew I was either going to have to have all my gardens destroyed or find a way to control the weeds. Paying someone to do the weeding was not an option either.

In my quest for saving my gardens I discovered the wonderful groundcovers. Creeping sedums for sunny gardens and ajuga for shade gardens are my favorites, although I am adding different ones this year for variety. In the areas where the groundcovers have completely filled in I have no weeds at all.

Last summer I was recuperating from a badly broken and dislocated ankle and was extremely limited in my mobility. In previous years I had continuously battled the weeds along the north side of our detached garage with pulling, mulch and Roundup, but there was no way I could even walk to the area so I reconciled myself to sitting and watching the weeds grow. Much to my surprise, I saw fewer and fewer tall weeds growing and a beautiful groundcover of CREEPING CHARLIE had taken over! The weed I had battled with unsuccessfully for all those years became my 'saving grace'! Not that Charlie is welcome just anyplace in my gardens, but he is a keeper for the garage area!! :-)

Spend some time on the Groundcovers forum here on GW and you can finds tons of great information.

Good luck!!

RE: How do you keep weeds down? This has sojme great ground covers!

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

Here in Fla., we fight the weeds year round. My garden is almost 6 yrs. old and I really noticed the difference this year in the areas with the heaviest mulch. The weed population is really down. I use the cypress mulch, because it's the cheapest and most readily available. I keep a foot wide band of rubber mulch around the foundation of the house, to keep the termites away, and that keeps the weeds out, too.


RE: How do you keep weeds down?

I use the wet newspapers and cover them with mulch--wood chips or pinestraw. You never see the paper --it blocks out everything and it rots down.
I wouldn't use the landscaping material cuz eventualy it gets really gross--but it doesn't rot all the way so you end up having to redo the bed and pull out all the old semi rotten cloth. mary

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

I was wondering if fabric (cloth) will keep weeds away. I do know that the weed guard will work for a season but it does allow the weeds to breath. I am going to do a pallet garden and need to put something under it and was just wondering if cloth (like making clothes from) would work and allow the plants to grow.

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

Weeds will damage the healthy plants and kill them. Its better not to keep weeds and not use it for clothing. Avoid it if possible..

RE: How do you keep weeds down?

I use Preen. It can get a little costly if you have a large garden. It lasts about 3 months.

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