Killer of weeds

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MonsieurBOZ
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Killer of weeds

Post: #173132 MonsieurBOZ
Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:29 pm

Good day (and hello from the Charente area of France, where it was -5°C last night)
I am currently preparing land for next years "crops" (hah! did you see the pathetic specimens we produced this year?) and have composted with a nice well-rotted and wormy mix of horse poo (can I say poo here?) grass cuttings and kitchen waste. I had to do this as the soil is dry a hot day in the Gobi, with not a worm to be seen.
Unfortunately, between now and 2010 there will inevitably be "uncultivated plants" popping up in the bed and I wondered if, other than trying to pull them out by hand (which is a bore and does not work) how can I get rid of them. You can take it as read that I don't want to spend 20€ per bottle for some chemical cocktail, to do the job either.
Thanks for your time
(Monsieur) BOZ

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173136 MuddyWitch
Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:48 pm

Learn to love them?

MW
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MonsieurBOZ
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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173141 MonsieurBOZ
Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:01 pm

Not really the answer I was looking for, but thanks for caring.

BTW did you know that it is said that the only dog breed named in the bible is a greyhound?
(Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version)

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173145 grahamhobbs
Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:26 pm

If you have covered the soil with your compost, then you shouldn't have too many weeds and they should be easily hoed off. If perenial weeds appear, dig them out.

If it is only for over winter, there is not much point in covering with carpet or mypek etc. These really need a couple of years to work.

The more mulch the better, if you haven't used the compost yet, you could put down cardboard and newspapers first, then the compost. This will not stop your perenial weeds, but most of these will only get going again next spring anyway. but the the thicker the mulch the easier it is to hoe.

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173200 MuddyWitch
Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:22 pm

Sorry, :oops: I was in a silly mood at lunch time!

Other than poison, which I strongly advise against, or hand pulling, which may be the only answer for a few perrenial nasties, hoeing and mulching are the answers, as Graham so sensibly pointed out.

The only way to ensure your plot is weed free is to make the soil sterile, which is not much more use than my first answer.

In my own defence, it is possible to learn to love some weeds. Dandelions are great in salad, fat hen is one of the many spinache substitutes, nettles are handy for several reasons, such as soup, or for nettle tea (that's really for your plants but you could try making it in a pot with boiling water) and the tops are excellent on the compost heap and even plantain can help alleviate a nettle sting.

(& yes, even this Witch knew about greyhounds in Proverbs, but I bore people enough about greys as it is! :lol: )

MW
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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173224 MKG
Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:52 am

Awwwww! No you don't , MW.

But you did forget to mention nettle beer.

:grouphug: Mwahhhh.

:lol:

Mike
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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173323 Durgan
Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:46 pm

MonsieurBOZ wrote:Good day (and hello from the Charente area of France, where it was -5°C last night)
I am currently preparing land for next years "crops" (hah! did you see the pathetic specimens we produced this year?) and have composted with a nice well-rotted and wormy mix of horse poo (can I say poo here?) grass cuttings and kitchen waste. I had to do this as the soil is dry a hot day in the Gobi, with not a worm to be seen.
Unfortunately, between now and 2010 there will inevitably be "uncultivated plants" popping up in the bed and I wondered if, other than trying to pull them out by hand (which is a bore and does not work) how can I get rid of them. You can take it as read that I don't want to spend 20€ per bottle for some chemical cocktail, to do the job either.
Thanks for your time
(Monsieur) BOZ


From your post it appears you want the weeds to disappear by waving a magic wand, and invoking some mantra. No pulling and no chemicals. If somebody has the magic bullet let me know. It doesn't exist.

I have about 0.4 of an acre 0.16 hectares. About 2000 square feet or 185 square meters is for growing produce and there are various fruiting bush and tree plants, plus flower beds. The point being the area is fairly large to keep weed free.

Weed elimination is essential. Never allow weeds to produce seeds is the first criteria.
Hoeing the vegetable patch as required during growth to eliminate weeds. Expect to get on your hands and knees periodically.

For weeds in grass physically remove using one of the marvelous tools now available. http://www.durgan.org/URL/?WeedHnd 6 May 2009 Weed Puller.
A propane flame is another limited use method for fungus and some weeds.
All my methods require some physical exertion, which is now in short supply in the modern world.
Cultivate in the Fall season, but prior to cultivation remove all weeds and physically dispose of the material hoed. Do not leave in the garden bed. Cultivate in the Spring and remove any weed green material. Some weeds produce seeds even after being pulled or cut off with a hoe. I happen to be a great believer in cultivation.
Grow an annual clover cover crop and cultivate into the soil in the Spring. If not Winter killed, cut the vegetation with a string weed-whacker

Weeds removal has to be addressed on a continuous basis. All weeds are seldom eliminated at one time, but can be kept at bay so one can grow the desired plants. A weed is just a plant in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or you can go the chemical way and spray everything with Round-up as is the common practice. I call it the North American way.

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173354 wulf
Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:02 pm

To be honest, weed removal can be quite relaxing. It is a chance to observe your patch close up. Even while the soil is relatively bare, it is interesting to keep an eye on the life going on there and you can let the weeds get some size. Alternatively, cover the soil and just check occasionally to see that you aren't hosting lots of slugs.

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173359 grahamhobbs
Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:33 pm

Some very good advice from Durgan and Wulf. Weeding should not be viewed as a chore, it can tell you much about your soil and give you feedback on your cultivation methods. Study your weeds, get to know and understand them. With understanding you will learn how best to tackle and control each one. Weeding should become second nature, like wiping the face of your child.

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173360 MonsieurBOZ
Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:45 pm

Thanks for all that, from everyone!
I'm not seeking a magic bullet, honest; I just hoped someone know of a

"non-toxic to the environment, but unpleasant for dandelions"

kind of answer
Note to self - MUST TRY HARDER :mrgreen:

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173365 grahoom
Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:40 pm

MonsieurBOZ wrote:"non-toxic to the environment, but unpleasant for dandelions"


Dandelions are a "weed" that has some good uses !! the leaves for green salads, the root for making drinks (two name a few)

most weeds are just things in the wrong place at the wrong time :iconbiggrin:

But seriously the only advice I can give you has already been said above.

This year we took over an allotment plot which has serious amounts of HorseTail (mare's tail), and we dug the soil over as much as possible and tried to take as much root out as possible, but our main method of attack was hoeing and making sure that when we saw a new shoot appear we knocked it back with the hoe. The thinking behind this is that eventually the more we attack the plant above ground the roots will have less and less energy to carry on growing. We still had a LOT growing on our plot, but it didn't effect us growing a good crop of all sorts of veg.
|You can't feel lonely with nature as your companion| millican dalton

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173367 Green Aura
Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:50 pm

Dandelions are a "weed" that has some good uses !! the leaves for green salads, the root for making drinks (two name a few)


Dandelion wine is lovely. :lol: :drunken: And dandelion petal risotto is yummy, although taking all the petals off is a pain in the b*m :iconbiggrin:

As for weeding I agree that regular hoeing, once you cleared an area, will eventually get rid of the perennials. The trouble with digging or pulling them up is that any bits of taproot left in the ground will form new plants - horsetail root is particularly brittle and will leave potentially dozens of new plants every time you try to dig up the root. Regular hoeing will deny it nutrients and eventually it'll die.
Maggie

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173369 Millymollymandy
Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:55 pm

grahamhobbs wrote:Study your weeds, get to know and understand them.

I rather agree as I enjoy weeding and particularly in my flower beds I know what every single one of my weeds and flowering plants look like even when they are miniscule, so I know what to pull and what to leave.

In the veg patch I have all sorts of edible weeds, not that I need them at the time when they are at their most productive (cos that's when I have tons of veg!) but it's interesting all the same to find out what is coming up.

I just hoe them all off and compost them. I love weeding quite honestly and whether it's by hand in the flower beds or hoeing in the veg patch it is really relaxing.

Yes I may well be mad. :mrgreen:

Oh and in my newly composted and planted out strawb bed I have coming up: spuds (cos that's what was growing there before :roll: ), tomatoes, dill and coriander. Hardly any actual weeds! :lol:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)


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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173378 grahoom
Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:22 pm

Green Aura wrote: Regular hoeing will deny it nutrients and eventually it'll die.


yar that's the plan.

a couple on our allotment rotorvated their plot .... bad idea with the horsetail!
|You can't feel lonely with nature as your companion| millican dalton

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Re: Killer of weeds

Post: #173385 Durgan
Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:12 pm

I would like to add that our Provincial Government banned most pesticides and herbicides for use for aesthetic purposes in 2009. This regulation affects almost every homeowner.

I expect a bumper crop of dandelions in May and June of 2010. It won't cause too much difficulty for me personally, since digging with a tool has always been my choice of eradication.


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