Ask a Question forum: Weed control

Views: 367, Replies: 4 » Jump to the end

tshadehallkycom
Jan 10, 2017 2:50 PM CST
I am fastly approaching retirement so I want to get my grandchildren involved in gardening. I will be putting in 20 raised bed boxes that are 12' x 4'. Do you know of a fabric that can we used for multiple years, can be rolled up for spring tilling and back over the soil to prevent weeds. I know there is black plastic but I am scared about water getting through and warming the soil too much. Is there a white woven product that would sufficate weeds, allow water to penatrate, prevent soil from getting to warm and can be used for multiple years.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Tony Shadr
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 10, 2017 3:53 PM CST
If you're doing raised beds and not walking in them, you shouldn't need to till. Tilling does uncover weed seeds already in the beds and - voila - new weed plants. You could mulch with fall leaves that have been saved.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Jan 10, 2017 5:34 PM CST
Hi Tony, and welcome to NGA!

I like mulching with big chunks of pine bark. (But I do seem to have some kind of a "bark fetish".)

- Coarse bark lasts for a few to several years (can plastic make the same claim?).
- As it breaks down, they enrich the soil with organics. Feeds the worms and soil fungi.
- Bark chunks keep soil cool and moist in summer, and warmer in the fall.
- Rain falls right through (screen out any bark fines and mix them into raised beds for aeration).
- You can brush or rake chips aside before sowing, and push them back after seedlings come up.
- No plasticizers. No uncured monomers. UV? Don't care. Not ugly like plastic film.
- Bark production doesn't consume petrochemicals or electrical energy.

If you save the bags the bark came in, you still get some heavy-gauge plastic film to mess around with. I line raised bed walls or corners with it to reduce evaporation of ground water in the bed.

Big wood chips would probably work almost as well as top-dress mulch, but don't turn wood shavings under (nitrogen deficit and too much wood-eating fungi get nasty with fine wood or sawdust turned under the soil).

With both bark and wood chips, coarse big chunks are your friends. Sawdust and bark fines are likely to absorb light rainfalls and let none get through to the soil. Or they mat down and slow oxygen exchange into the soil.

Bark fines can go right into soil, but sawdust should be composted first. (Bark breaks down slower than wood of the same size (suberin) and also bark ahs a little N (more than wood, anyway).
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Jan 10, 2017 5:45 PM CST
I won't comment on whether or not the fabric needs to be taken up; that is a personal preference.

I swear by the Preen Contractor grade landscape fabric that I purchase at Sam's Club. See here:
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/p...

I have just recently pulled up the same landscape fabric from my previous garden/yard and it looks as new as the day it was installed. This stuff is thicker than regular 'consumer grade' and is well worth the money. I normally use a double layer to make sure that weeds do not creep up from the bottom.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 10, 2017 6:58 PM CST
@greene How long was that fabric in place? That stuff sounds intriguing.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Agastache"