BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Plants > Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees

Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees If it grows in the soil, this is the forum.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2015, 10:50 AM
Tranquilityranch Tranquilityranch is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 3
Default weed control

Hello people,new member/subscriber;
Wanting to know if anyone has used those paper/plastic rolls to cover garden for weeds and did they work? Planted our first garden last year, app.1700 sq feet,(little carried away) 90% success rate. I kept a tillers width between rows last year. I don't use any weed killer so this sounds appealing to me.
Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-14-2015, 03:17 PM
Bearfootfarm's Avatar
Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 2,036
Default

The commercial weed barriers work pretty well, but most any type of mulch, if applied thickly enough, will do the same thing

Newpaper and cardboard can work too, and doesn't have to ve removed at the end of the season
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2015, 04:21 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,996
Default

I use newspaper too. I add a few inches of mulch over the newspaper to hold it in place. Come fall or the following spring I just disk everything under.

This year I was thinking of using black plastic on my raised bed garden where I grow my peppers. Just poke some holes for the plants. Seems I read pepper plants like warmer dirt and the black plastic helps with that.

I'm hoping if I take care with it and use a heavy plastic I may be able to get 2 years out of it before it needs to be replaced.
__________________
Gun control: It's like fighting drunk driving by restricting the sober drivers.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-17-2015, 04:27 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 1,566
Default

We have used the black fiber-paper in the past. Seems to work pretty well, but I don't prefer it. The GF does, so it's always a discussion in the spring.

I think I'm slowly converting her over that using wood chip mulch is the way to go. Our community has a wood chip pile that you can go to and load up for free. In the spring, I rake up the loose mulch, then till the soft stuff back into the soil.

I think I have her convinced now that this is the way to go.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-17-2015, 05:11 AM
Bearfootfarm's Avatar
Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 2,036
Default

Quote:
In the spring, I rake up the loose mulch, then till the soft stuff back into the soil.
If you avoid walking on your rows and compacting the soil, you can just keep adding mulch as needed, and it will naturally compost itself without any need for more tilling.

With a lot of wood chips you may need to add Nitrogen to offset what will be tied up in the wood as it breaks down
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-17-2015, 01:40 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 857
Default

your describing sheet mulch (plastic sheeting, newspaper), it works for weed control by blocking sunlight. weeds need light for photosynthasis, blocking all the light will essentially starve them, seeds will use up their supply of energy quickly then die, plants like burdock will use up the energy in their roots trying to find a way to the sun, then die when they starve.

as a forester i have seen large areas covered in plastic sheeting as a form of weed control (invasive weeds), essentially starving the plants to death.

I have used plastic sheeting to great effect to kill off weeds prior to spring planting. it does work but its not cheap and plastic does wear out eventually.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-17-2015, 01:42 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setanta View Post
your describing sheet mulch (plastic sheeting, newspaper), it works for weed control by blocking sunlight. weeds need light for photosynthasis, blocking all the light will essentially starve them, seeds will use up their supply of energy quickly then die, plants like burdock will use up the energy in their roots trying to find a way to the sun, then die when they starve.

as a forester i have seen large areas covered in plastic sheeting as a form of weed control (invasive weeds), essentially starving the plants to death.

I have used plastic sheeting to great effect to kill off weeds prior to spring planting. it does work but its not cheap and plastic does wear out eventually.

My suggestion is to roll it out as soon as the snow melts and let it kill off most of the weeds, cook pathogens, grasses, etc, then roll it up a day or 2 before you are planting.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-26-2015, 11:50 AM
rubyyarn's Avatar
rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 1,113
Default

This thread is a bit old, but the subject came up last night about using plastic to rid a garden of weeds. I have a couple of questions...

Last winter I used some cardboard to clear a small area and that worked well. However, I would like more details about the best time to put the cover down and how long to leave it.

Does it work best when the weather is warm, or is it OK to put the cover down at the end of the season? We usually start planting in April.

We have a 50'x50' vegetable garden that looked like a lawn this summer. The tiller is a temporary fix, but the grass comes right back especially if it rains a lot. Will plastic mulch level the playing field for us next spring?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-26-2015, 09:25 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyyarn View Post
This thread is a bit old, but the subject came up last night about using plastic to rid a garden of weeds. I have a couple of questions...

Last winter I used some cardboard to clear a small area and that worked well. However, I would like more details about the best time to put the cover down and how long to leave it.

Does it work best when the weather is warm, or is it OK to put the cover down at the end of the season? We usually start planting in April.

We have a 50'x50' vegetable garden that looked like a lawn this summer. The tiller is a temporary fix, but the grass comes right back especially if it rains a lot. Will plastic mulch level the playing field for us next spring?
yes and no, it will kill some weeds, they will rot and compost, many seeds will also be killed, some seeds will germinate and die in the dark. however some seeds will survive and wait for you to remove the mulch (though they will have a late start-starting the same time as the ones you plant rather than starting as soon as the snow melts). bienials with tap roots like burdock will hemorage away most of their nutrient reserves from the root looking for a gap in the mulch, you will find long weak blanched plants with shrivelled up roots. chop them out right away, the root may survive but the plant will be much weaker and stunted. grass is weak and will likely be killed off this way, but the strongest seeds will linger, however you will have a much easier time gardening.

I use this method to cover a 1/4 acre every year now
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-27-2015, 09:25 AM
Ciderman's Avatar
Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 578
Default

rubyyarn back in the 70's we had a neighbor with the most beautiful flower beds and garden. She took the daily newspaper and laid them around anywhere she did not want weeds to grow. She constantly added the papers during the year. I have never tried this but my mom said it worked really well for our neighbor. You might want to try this.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-27-2015, 12:49 PM
rubyyarn's Avatar
rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 1,113
Default

Thank you, Setanta and Ciderman. The cardboard I put down last winter did clear one of my box beds of garlic chives. This spring I was able to dig that bed over and get rid of the last of the garlic chive bulbs. I added some store bought dirt, mulched the whole business with straw, and planted strawberries. One bed down, 8 more to go.

I keep hearing about newspaper, so I will try that. I have had one bed under black plastic for at least a month, maybe a bit more. When should I take that off?

I appreciate the warning about resistant weeds. I guess the thing to do is run the tiller as soon as the cover comes off. It sounds like we will be more evenly matched, at least.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-27-2015, 09:38 PM
Bones Bones is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,589
Default

When I cut grass I will shoot it into a row and then gather it up and pile it on the weeds in the garden. No weeds. Big areas pile it on in between the rows you need to let it dry a few days otherwise the grass may heat up and kill close plants.
__________________
" I void warranties"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-28-2015, 09:22 AM
Ciderman's Avatar
Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 578
Default

rubyyarn I forgot to mention to put the newspapers down then water them so they would not blow in the wind.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-28-2015, 08:31 PM
rubyyarn's Avatar
rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 1,113
Default

The brother-in-law had piled up a mother ton of grass clippings, then decided he didn't want to mess with them on his garden. The husband used them on the potatoes and tomatoes and it helped a lot. It was too late for the beans, though.

I think I will try the newspapers and cardboard on the beds that have stuff in there I want to keep. The rest will get black plastic.

Note on herbs: they are either invasive or grow six feet tall. They also interbreed. I have some mutant dill/fennel plants in one bed. Tall and beautiful with no scent whatever. And garlic chives...I wish I had never heard of them!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:47 AM
Soilman Male Soilman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 89
Default

Newspaper, or a thick layer of some kind of organic mulch (leaves, bark, wood shavings, newspaper, etc.) will be your best bet. I would not recommend plastic. Plastic will not allow water to penetrate, making your garden water deficient. You can use plastic, punch holes in it on the hills and plant into them IF you invest in emitter irrigation lines that run under the plastic. I still would prefer the organic mulch. As it deteriorates, it creates organic matter, which is almost always deficient in cultivated ground, yet is very beneficial for water holding capacity, soil tilth, and nutrient absorption.

One word of caution on organic mulches: Be aware of your sources. I would be very leery of grass clippings and some animal wastes, ect. Depending upon the source, these can often contain weed seeds that you will place in your garden, compounding your weed problem.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-30-2015, 01:02 PM
rubyyarn's Avatar
rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 1,113
Default

Thanks, Soilman! I'll probably use plastic in the beds where nothing helpful is growing, especially to get rid of garlic chives! In beds where I have daylilies or herbs I'll use the newspapers and cardboard.

I didn't grow up gardening and while I was working I didn't pay it much attention. So I am learning as I go.

I do appreciate everyone's advice and suggestions
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-31-2015, 08:15 PM
Mad_Professor Mad_Professor is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,732
Default

If you water the soil heavily and cover with black plastic in hot weather it will "solarize " the soil. Killing most weed seeds and harmful molds and fungus like early and late blights.

I use lumber covers that I get for free, they are about 10' X 20'. I weight them with fresh stones that the springtooth harrow kicks up each spring tilling.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-01-2015, 03:25 PM
Bones Bones is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,589
Default

Growing up my dad had read about using hay or straw to plant potatoes to make it easier to harvest. He figured why not grass clippings. SO we started saving our grass clippings and when they dried we piled it on the potatoes. It did make for easier digging of the potatoes at harvest time.
__________________
" I void warranties"
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-02-2015, 11:54 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,996
Default

Once they get about 6" tall around my potatoes I use newspaper with sawdust on top. I water the sawdust to get a crust, after that no weeds. When I dug my potatoes last week, Yukon Gold, I had many 4" and 5" long potatoes only half buried in the soil and under the newspaper.

For my tomatoes and peppers I use black plastic and sawdust. When I put the plants in I make sure the area maybe 12" all the way around slants towards the hole in the plastic where the plant is located. I rarely need to water over the summer as any water I give or rain that falls goes towards the plant and the plastic holds the moisture in.
__________________
Gun control: It's like fighting drunk driving by restricting the sober drivers.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-04-2015, 12:43 AM
Tim Horton's Avatar
Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Deep in the BC Bush
Posts: 5,982
Default

Here on this rock pile I exercised some weed control just this very evening...

I use Round Up on the rocks by the driveway culvert..

The walk way out to the driveway from the deck is 12" square patio blocks.. There are 60 of them, and they constantly are growing grass and weeds between them.. I do this technique about twice a year..

After I made dinner on my Hobo stove tonight.. Coffee, hot dogs, marshmallows with fudge stripe cookies... I stoked a huge fire in the stove and had a old 16 quart stainless stock pot of water to a rolling boil in about 15 minutes... I cooked 3 pot of boiling water and poured it between the patio blocks.. My experience has been that the weeds and grass will be looking pretty bad by morning...

I don't like to use chemical close to the plants by the house and other flower beds..

Take care...
__________________
Always fresh.
Keep your stick on the ice. Red Green
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 04:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.