All Things Gardening forum: New gardeners and weeding

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Name: Sairey Gamp62
Central Oregon, High desert, (Zone 5b)
Feb 5, 2013 5:01 PM CST
If garden up keep seems intimidating here are some ideas I have picked up along the way over 35 years of gardening.

First, I do garden in raised beds, in part because it is easier on my back and because it concentrates activity and fertilizers . But in addition to that, I grow not in rows in the beds but in a broadcast pattern. For instance, if you grow bush peas or beans, and you broadcast them thickly to the bed, they will grow up and support each other and likewise shade the soil. The shade does two things, it reduces moisture loss and it discourages weed sprouting.

Also along the large beds for potatoes, I grow in a pattern of a hill every 18-24" in every direction. This leaves enough soil between to hill up as the plant grows, but again shades the soil, reserving moisture and retarding weed growth. I use non-gmo's straw (be sure to ask) around the outter edges as it slows the lose of moisture ot wind and sun. For celery, i grow in a sq ft pattern, but a plant every 8" on center in every direction. Until they get large enough there may be a little weeding.

Squash is planted similarly, but every 2', because the bushes are so big, but again almost no weeding. With carrots I also broadcast the seed, then thin as they get pencil sized to use in salads, stir frys and to sell at Sat Market for snacks.

Growing in this way, does require well fertilized soil, but it sure beats all teh weeding. I have over a half acre in organic garden and spend less than 2 hrs a week weeding and most of that is hoeing weeds in the aisles between beds. Just some thoughts. Also a good book, older but very helpful, is The No Work Garden Book is an older but very helpful book in reducing weeding and cultivation demands of the gardenThumb of 2013-02-05/nancynursez637/12410d
Thumb of 2013-02-05/nancynursez637/9bab89
Thumb of 2013-02-05/nancynursez637/9efb3b

in these pics you can see there is little room for weeds to grow. things like peas and beans do not need a lot of soil amendments so compost is not as crucial as it might be for corn, or carrots or taters, or celery, squash etc
[Last edited by nancynursez637 - Feb 5, 2013 5:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Feb 12, 2013 7:49 PM CST
I also garden entirely in raised beds (and some buckets).

I find weeding easier once I've amended the clay enough that I'm strong enough to pull roots OUT ... and their grip on the soil is weak enough that the root comes out instead of breaking off.

Fortunately, the walls of my beds can be leaned out and replaced easily. Once a weed has grown right up against a wall, or in the crack between two pavers, it is hard to pull or hoe.

A coarse bark mulch (or wood chip mulch) prevents most weeds and makes pulling really easy.

I haven 't used a dripline long enough to tell this from my own experience, but I've been told the INTENT of drip emitters is to water only one tiny spot at the surface. The water spreads around underground, but the surface is 99% dry. No blown-in weed seeds can spout on the surface.

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