Getting the bed ready/weeds/grass - Knowledgebase Question

Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6A)
Question by lagdamm
April 1, 2007
This is the first time I've ever had my own house with a garden!!!
I have a rectangular plot of soil 5' by 10'. In the Fall I covered it with garbage bags in hopes to kill all of the weeds. Weeds are now starting to pop out. What should I do to kill the weeds and get the soil ready for planting? Also, wild onios and dandelions are already taking over my yard. What can I do to stop them w/o hurting the environment?


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Answer from NGA
April 1, 2007

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For your garden bed, there are several ways to get rid of the weeds. One is to hand pull them or dig them out being sure to remove the roots. Another is to use an herbicide containing glyphosate. Read and carefully follow all of the label directions. After you remove the weeds, mulch the soil surface to prevent more from coming up. Use an organic mulch, not plastic. The organic mulch will help feed the soil slowly over time as it breaks down.

Growing a healthy lawn will help keep down weeds. The best things you can do are run some basic soil tests to check fertility levels and the pH, and to mow correctly. The tests will tell you if you need to fertilize and also if you need to lime to make the soil more suitable to growing lawn grass. Mowing is very important. Set the blades at between two and three inches high. Mow often enough that you do not remove more than one third the grass height when you cut it. (This may mean mowing twice a week in the spring.)

The most environmentally friendly method of weed control is to hand pull or dig them out -- with onions and dandelions you have dig them out roots and all.

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