How to get rid of weeds

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by zimmfam1993, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. zimmfam1993

    zimmfam1993 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I have several large flower beds and need to come up with any easier way to get rid of weeds. I usually pull them all out by hand but that is very time consuming and back breaking, not to mention it takes me a week to recover with muscle relaxers and pain killers. It takes me a week to get them all done then I have to start all over again. I have used mulch in the past, but I do not care how the mulch looks the second year, it also gets mold growth underneath. I move plants around a lot so I can not use something that will make that task difficult. I have tried Preen and that does not seems to work. Any suggestions? I have a lot of crabgrass among other unknown weeds. I live in Michigan. Thank you.
     
  2. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%2.../Woodchips.pdf

    This is a great site on woodchip mulch given to us by Ron B on the second page of the Conversations and Chat forum...

    Use lots and lots of mulch, placed on the garden soil just after a good weeding job. But Gardening is Weeding, you know, and always has been. The first few years are hard labour with any garden, dealing with weeds and unwanted or failed plants and getting the place looking the way you want it. Don't think there is any other way, because the chemical shortcuts are all dangerous to our health.

    There are some other neat variations on mulching, and if you go through a lot of the back posts somewhere in this forum [try searching with a term like newspaper mulch or soil cover or something like that -- someone may help you out] or on the Web, you'll find detailed descriptions for laying down layers of mulch and newspaper topped by soil, with the plants laid on top, then more soil and mulch around them... this is a technique I would like to try sometime with a new garden.

    But whatever you do, Gardening, like raising children, is hard hard labour and there is no getting 'round it.
     
  3. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    I glanced at your post again and noticed you mentioned getting mold under the mulch... that happened to me in Nova Scotia with using seaweed, and I found that the seaweed needed tossing around first in the air and incorporating it more with the soil, not just laying it on fresh from the shore. And, it happened to me in Nova Scotia sometimes with bark mulch, too, in some areas of the garden getting lots of shade. I am not sure if the woodchip mulch is any different from bark mulch, maybe Ron B can address that. But a coarser mulch like real woodchip, coarse variety, laid on not too thick, might be ok. But, Gardening is labour and the solution people around here use, in this retirement heaven of Victoria, is to go groomed commercial-landscaping-job gardening with small conifers, mulch, rocks, and a few outstanding trees... and then add fillips of bulbs in fall for the spring to perk it up -- looks nice. Don't know if your area of Michigan is ok with the small conifers with winter survival, though -- you'd have to make sure they were hardy enough. They just need enough water in spring, summer, fall, and in winter where there is cold winter wind but no snow cover.
     
  4. Buddleia

    Buddleia Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada zone 5
    I mulch 3-4" thick and the first year of a new garden means weeding but much less than if the mulch wasn't there. As the plants fill in the weeding becomes less and less so maybe you might need to plant closer together.
    I had 3 large maples cut down last winter and the smaller branches were chipped and left behind for me, about 2 cubic yards of it. I have been applying it over my newly created planting beds and it is certainly coarser than the mulch I've bought in bags or received by the yard but it seems to be doing it's job.
     
  5. zimmfam1993

    zimmfam1993 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Thank you everyone for your response, it seems that newspaper and mulch may be the way to go until the plants get bigger so that there are less weeds. Does anyone know of a bagged mulch that will not mold underneath?
     
  6. Buddleia

    Buddleia Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada zone 5
    I'm not sure why yours is getting mold, my experience is that it eventually breaks down the fastest next to the soil and then it just needs replacing on top every few years. I've never noticed mold on my mulch but now that I think about it the pile of tree chips that I have been using to mulch my beds has gotten that dog vomit mold.
    http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/chicago_gardener/2007/06/dog-vomit-slime.html
    Is this the mold you are referring to perhaps?
     
  7. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    The mold I had in NS under seaweed mulch was a slimy wet thing, but then I also had something whitish develop under regular bark mulch... the climates in the eastern part of Canada have much more rain, generally, and I think these growths develop more there.

    I am betting the newspaper would also serve to prevent the mold. The ink in it, maybe. It seems to keep garbage relatively clean [I sometimes wrap kitchen garbage in newspaper to avoid using too many individual plastic bags, just using a big one as a bin liner].
     

Share This Page