weeds and grass taking over my vegetable garden - Knowledgebase Question

Havana, Fl
Avatar for phinmang
Question by phinmang
June 30, 2010
This past spring we tilled and manure fertilized our first vegetable garden. Then as time went by, the weeds and grass took over and choked off everything. How is organically the best way to deal with this next season? Some have said a thick plastic cover to kill off the weeds/grass. Other say chemicals. Please help! We've worked so hard!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
Weeds are the number one problem, even for experienced gardeners. And new gardens are most vulnerable since there are bits of roots and seeds left over from soil preparation. The best way to control weeds is to smother them. One way is to lay down cardboard or newspapers and cover with straw. I do this for any part of the garden I'm not planting right away, as well as paths and the perimeter around the garden. To prepare the garden for next spring, this fall you should cover the entire garden with something -- a deep layer of shredded leaves or cardboard covered with leaves or straw. These will slowly break down and add much-needed organic matter to the soil. At the very least, cover the area with a tarp to exclude light. The weeds will be smothered over the winter. In spring, prepare and plant small sections, mulching around plants and between rows. However, no matter what you do, you'll still have to pull some weeds!

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