Tuesday Garden Party- More On Weeds


If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know I’m a big proponent of raised beds and permanent paths. I don’t own a tiller and even when creating new beds I don’t till. I’ve read that tilling can disrupt the balance in the soil of organisms and I know that it brings weed seeds to the surface. But frankly, the thought of tilling is just too much work.

As is the thought of weeding. You know, the type of weeding where you can barely see the plants for the weeds and you need special hoes and tools because there’s so many (I do own a hoe, but I use it maybe once or twice a year and that’s in the flower beds).

I guess what it boils down to is, I’m lazy. I’m OK with pulling a weed here and there, and having a serious weeding session a couple times a year in the gravel paths, but other than that, I don’t want to deal with weeds.

What weeds do I have? In midsummer, here are the weeds I deal with in the 9′ x 20′ corn beds:


Having trouble finding the weeds? That’s because there’s one. Yep, one. Look to the left under the stalk in front. Two seconds and that baby’s gone.


Can you see the weed in the center (sort of) of the right row in this second corn bed? There’s another in the second row that is obscured by the corn, but again, a few seconds pulling them out and I’m done with weeding.

OK, so maybe you think I’ve weeded previously and this is just the leftovers. Sorry, but I’ve never weeded this bed (after raking up the dead weeds under the black plastic I put down in the winter).

This is why I plant this way each year. Ninety degree heat and weeds? No thank you.


Just to let you know, the bean and cucumber patch is the same. Of course you already know that the higher 4 x 12′ beds are pretty weed-free, but I wanted to illustrate that bigger beds could be relatively painless as well, as far as weeding is concerned.

If you’re interested in the particulars, be sure to look at planting a garden the no-till way (one of my most popular posts, by the way- I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to weed).


Just to keep it real, though, I’m leaving you with a picture to show the reality of owning an acre of land.

Alas, there are always weeds.

They blow in from the surrounding fields and are hardy enough to root in the inhospitable gravel. Since I will always have weeds along fences, in flower beds and the ditch, I’m going to keep making sure I don’t have to deal with huge amounts in my vegetable beds.

Ready to show us your gardens?

     


 


  

Comments

  1. says

    I only have a small raised bed garden space, so I’m wondering how to deal with crop rotation. Any ideas? I was thinking of trying to mix the dirt around, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not!

  2. Alea says

    I like your black plastic method and am going to give it a try on the beds that I don’t use in the winter. I am in zone 4 but I still try to keep growing in one or two of the beds.

    I also like using gravel paths. Even though weeds still blow in, I have found that they cannot develop very vigorous roots and are much easier to pull up than if I didn’t lay gravel down.

  3. Barb says

    I would love to try your black plastic method! How long does it take to kill the weeds? Do you use just regular black plastic or a special grade?

    I wish I could get my husband not to till. It’s an argument we have every year. I circumvent his tilling as much as I can by planting at least half the garden with cool weather crops.

  4. debiclegg says

    I’m with you. I love my raised beds because I DON’T have all the weeds and prep time for planting is so easy. I just wished I had given this method a try years ago. This method is so easy that I almost feel guilty… ALMOST!

    Between my garden beds, I use an Astroturf-like material (similar to indoor-outdoor carpets). You can see it in the pictures on this post.

    http://connect-dots-garden.blogspot.com/2010/08/harvest-monday-822010-my-first.html

  5. says

    Hi Jami, Better late than never:) Envious of your weeds (or lack thereof!). I am going to go and read your tips.

    Thanks for your comments on my last GP post. I don’t know how I ended up with 3 ripe tomatoes, but there is not a one to be had now… and this cool, drizzly morning isn’t helping.

    Thanks for the party:)

  6. says

    My garden looks like a mini version of your big one and my husband and I both comment on how much we love the gravel paths between our raised beds. Since this is our first year with raised beds, we’re going to totally employ your black tarp method! Also, I’ve notice that I had to weed the beds in early May and once in early June when I put the plants in and I dont’ have to weed again! Now I know why

  7. says

    Barb- I put the plastic on the big beds only (the smaller ones don’t get as many weeds)around January-February (it could be done earlier) and leave it on until I need to plant. That’s March for potatoes and late May for corn and beans. My early spring crops go in the beds I don’t need to cover.

    Anonymous- We buy rolls of black plastic from the home center (like Home Depot). They have oodles of it, though it’s not cheap. I keep it for two to three years before it’s too holey to be used anymore.

    Lauren- I would try to plant in areas as best as possible. I wouldn’t bother with the dirt, though. You just do what you can.

  8. says

    Barb- I put the plastic on the big beds only (the smaller ones don’t get as many weeds)around January-February (it could be done earlier) and leave it on until I need to plant. That’s March for potatoes and late May for corn and beans. My early spring crops go in the beds I don’t need to cover.

    Anonymous- We buy rolls of black plastic from the home center (like Home Depot). They have oodles of it, though it’s not cheap. I keep it for two to three years before it’s too holey to be used anymore.

    Lauren- I would try to plant in areas as best as possible. I wouldn’t bother with the dirt, though. You just do what you can.

  9. HoosierHomemade says

    I’m a little late, but I just posted my Sweet Potato Vine, so I thought I would add it.
    Thanks for hosting!
    The Harvest Party starts on Sunday over at Blog Party if anyone is interested in joining us!
    http://itsablogparty.com
    ~Liz

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