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Fall weeding

Posted by tuberoo Pennsylvania (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 14, 12 at 14:38

I'm a beginner gardener. I just pulled all of the dead vegetable plants from the garden beds. All that is left are a ton of weeds. If I spray the weeds now with white vinegar, will it negatively affect planting next spring/summer? Or would it be best to put down wet newspaper and cardboard now and let it there until next spring. Thank you for any suggestions you may have!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fall weeding

Vinegar won't hurt next year's garden in the slightest, but it only kills the top growth, so if your weeds are perennials (like dandelions), they will eventually regrow. I like to put down cardboard myself, as the worms are so happy underneath it, and newspaper works about as well, it just gets blown around easier. I say go for the cardboard, and maybe put your fallen leaves on top of it, then let everything rest, including you!, for a couple of months.

RE: Fall weeding

Since most all plants are starting to go dormant for the winter here in the northern latitudes spraying now is a waste of time, energy, and money. Covering with something the excludes the plants access to light, newspaper or cardboard, can help because taking away a plants access to light will kill it.
What did you do with the plant material you removed? Compost? While removing old plant material does mean that insect pests will not have someplace to overwinter that also means that any beneficials will also not have some place to overwinter. Many of us put the old plant material right back into the soil they grow in so the nutrients removed by growing there are put back.

RE: Fall weeding

Spraying the weeds now will accomplish next to nothing. Your time would be better spent hand pulling the weeds, they pull easy this time of year. Since the over growth has been removed, the tough perennials like curly dock and dandelions are exposed. Small crowns of Bittercress pull easy. Since they won't likely root this winter, they can be left where you pulled them, with the roots in the air.

RE: Fall weeding

I let my weeds grow tall in areas where I haven't put a lawn. (some have reached 11 feet tall) Now I am digging curved rows of trenches behind my Pines. I yank the weeds out of my sandy soil and line the trenches with them. I throw soil back over the weeds and give it all a good soaking.

It really turns my practically sterile native sand into a soil that plants thrive in. I did some side by side experiments and the difference was very dramatic.

I am going to plant tea in the trenches next year.

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