Grass and Weed control for garden?


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Old 06-08-08, 10:53 PM
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Grass and Weed control for garden?

My Father has a 1/2 acre or so Garden, and the grass just keep getting out of control. There are some weeds too, but not so much as the grass. Is there anything we could put down to kill or get rid of the grass and weeds, without bothering the vegatables?
 
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Old 06-09-08, 10:23 AM
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I usually use mulch to control weeds. You could hoe it periodically. "Preen" is a pre-emergent to control weeds in a flower bed, so it might work.
 
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Old 06-09-08, 03:18 PM
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I agree with Chris, however using just chipped mulch will not help much as the weed seeds are still in the green stuff and all you will do is plant them. If you can obtain good composted, or at least one year old mulch, that is the ticket. We use it exclusively in our garden and any weeds that do pop up can be pulled with no effort, as they are basically on the surface. My wife's potatoes have about 2' of wheat straw around them, and they are popping out the top. We should have good potatoes this year, and we will leave the wheat straw to decompose until next year and the area is already mulched for the next crop of whatever.
 
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Old 06-09-08, 03:54 PM
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Well it is the grass that we really need to get rid of, but I am not sure how to tell if or what weed and grass killers will harm the garden plants too?
 
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Old 06-10-08, 11:16 AM
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With that large a garden, I would definitely suggest some type of mulch for the paths between the rows. Even putting down cardboard between the rows will be helpful. Cultivating with a scuffle hoe will also help to sever the roots of the weeds and grass.

With no disrespect to Chandler, the biggest problem with using freshly chipped wood or bark as mulch is it will take nitrogen out of the soil as it decomposes because it's fresh. It could also heat up too much as it decomposes and cook your plants.

Horticultural vinegar can be used to spray weeds, but it's non-selective so you'll have to be very careful where and how you spray it so it doesn't spalsh on anything you care about.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2002/020515.htm
http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._no_115=131932

Either a flame or a radiant heat weeder might be helpful.
Flame weeder
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/flameweedveg.html
http://www.pesticide.org/pubs/alts/pdf/flameweeding.pdf

Radiant weeder - harder to find in the US.
http://www.pesticide.org/radiant.html

More organic ideas.
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/weed.html

If you purchase anything synthetic such as the Preen, read the label carefully as many are NOT safe for the veggie garden.

Newt
 
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Old 06-10-08, 05:30 PM
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Oh, I agree with Newt on his view of fresh mulch, but my experience has been using slightly composted, or heated mulch does away with the weed seeds, and I'd rather have less weeds than the heat or composting action at first. Our local electric company chips up the limbs etc they cut from the right of way, and chip it right onto the right of way in piles, free for the taking. I always let it sit in a pile and heat up killing stuff in it before I spread it.
 
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Old 06-11-08, 10:03 AM
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Chandler, you are correct that the process of decomposition will cause the pile to heat up, therefore killing the weed seeds if it gets hot enough. That is one reason why the chipped wood should be composted before using and not freshly chipped. Another reason to let the wood decompose before using would be the heat caused by the decomposition of the freshly chipped wood. Then there is the nitrogen problem. I think we are saying the same thing here.

Btw, I'm a she, but not to worry, most folks get it wrong.

Newt
 
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Old 06-11-08, 04:57 PM
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My deepest and sincerest apologies on the gender faux pas. I am from Georgia, and our "Newt" Gingrich is a guy, so honest mistake. And, yes, I think we are saying the same thing, just right brain versus left brain.....there I go again.
 
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Old 06-11-08, 07:05 PM
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Chandler, thanks for the apology, but not to worry as folks do it all the time for basically the reason you mentioned. They think of the 'Gingrich' guy when they see the name. It kinda makes me giggle.

Newt
 
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Old 06-12-08, 05:25 AM
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Sorry I haven't visited this part of the forum too much. I'm a nail driver and stay within the confines of my expertise, usually. Sometimes, especially during the planting season, I like to see what is happening here. Very good advice so far on all parts.
 
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Old 06-12-08, 08:50 AM
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Chandler, I'm glad you find the info here helpful, even if it's not your area of expretise.

Newt
 
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Old 06-16-08, 09:01 PM
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If the weeds are in the vegetable garden make the rows wide enough to allow a small size tiller to go down between the row. Till between the rows of vegetables very 2 weeks.
Works well for us.
 
 

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