Ask a Question forum→Skipping a season of gardening

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Brooklyn Park MN
engineerairborne
May 31, 2018 6:02 AM CST
I have decided to skip this year planting a garden for a couple of reasons, The first is time, to busy this year, but also because we have had issues with a lot of weeds over the last few seasons and I want to sterilize the garden. My question is what is the best approach to do this so that the soil will be ready next year to plant. My plan is to burn away the current weeds, then till the garden and cover it till next year
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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sallyg
May 31, 2018 6:13 AM CST
What I have read- Cover it tightly with plastic, the summer sun should burn/rot anything that sprouts. Next year, don't till it up unless you then cover to prevent new seeds sprouting. Digging turns up a whole new crop of weed seed.
Or cover thickly, -several inches- with some kind of organic matter that would also block surface seeds and most weeds sprouting. Next year, plant through that. I like the second idea better. Read about 'lasagne gardening'.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
Köppen climate classification Cfa
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scvirginia
Jun 1, 2018 2:11 PM CST
If it were me, I'd try more than one method to see what works best in your particular neck of the woods.

I have heard of putting down cardboard for weed suppression, then putting soil, compost, organic matter on top. This may be a variation on the lasagna method Sally mentioned.

Even if you mostly grow vegetables, you might like to have a few hardy easy-to-care-for perennials (or herbs or reseeding annuals) in self-watering containers for the pollinators and beneficials, and to get your "green growing things" fix. They could go in the ground next year?

Good luck,
Virginia

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