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Garden advice

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mattjm1017, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Ive planted my first vegetable garden and Im wondering what I can do to help prevent weeds in the garden. I know I wont be able to keep all of them out but can I put tree bark mulch down or should I use some other type of barrier? Just wondering what everybody else does out there. When I was a kid my dad always grew peppers and just threw grass clippings in the garden but I cant do that cause I don't have a bagger for my mower.

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  2. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Wow, you have a lot of options As far as mulches, where you are pine bark mulch or pine needles might be readily available. I've used and like pine needles a lot. Shredded leaves also work well. You can put down a couple of layers of news paper and cover with mulch also. We get wood chips from local tree trimming crews but use those only on walkways and such. Watch out for wood chips that might contain Black Walnut as the Juglone it contains will stunt or prevent all plant growth.

    Mulches are not the only way to prevent weeds though. One method, the Square Foot method is based on the French Intensive method where plants are placed so densely that little sunlight makes its way to the soil and weeds don't grow as well.

    I'm sure you'll get many more good suggestions. Based on the photos posted there are a lot of good gardeners here.

    Edit: other mulches: straw, old carpet, poly plastic sheeting.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  3. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks semi pro Im going to try and find some pine needles that should work for my little garden its just a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers. I would really like to be able to plant a bigger garden next year so Ill have to figure something out for that when the time comes. I did a little research and found a lot of contradicting information about mulches so I figured I would check in here as Ive seen a lot of nice garden pics.
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    How many square feet are we talking about here?
  5. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I save all my Fall leaves shredded in a huge pile.
    Shredded they don't blow away.
    Garden and under fruit trees so I have no grass to cut under them and don't whack my head on branches.
    One of my piles is between two trees, but you don't see much of it:
    IMG_0132.JPG


    cardboard and chipboard works too. wind will get under them though without some weight
    although they might not let much water through until they start rotting away.
    You can always cut holes.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  6. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    You might want to check out Back to Eden. It has been the latest thing for the past year or so. I don't use the method but many others say it works wonders.
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Yup. I use shredded leaves, as well as compost.

    Compost yard waste- it is a good use for the waste, and compost is THE BEST thing that you can do for your garden.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    What weeds come along get pulled and given to the chickens.

    I compost all kinds of leaves and such. I currently have 5 bins cooking (will likely get 3 yards of finished before loading things up from the garden cleanup and leaf raking), they get topped off with soil and planted as well. Works wonders for squash. I have to set up another bin so we have a place to put kitchen waste that the chickens don't get.

    Our bins are made of left over pallets. Seems I have a supply for some reason.

    In the fall the chicken coops get cleaned out and the mess gets spread over one of the garden beds to be dug in in the spring before planting.

    You can mulch with newspaper and grass clippings to "feed and weed" , the newspaper gets put down around each plant and the clippings go on the newspaper, a little water holds it all down.

    The fruit trees get slow release fertilizer spikes.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Best compost bin system I've found- make a loop out of green wire garden fence. Hook it in a circle- 3+ feet across. Fill. When you want to turn it- unhook (the compost stays in a big puck), move the fence one foot away and hook it together again, fork the compost back in, done. You can take just the sides and top off that puck of compost- more efficient that re-cooking stuff that you don't need to.
  10. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    50 foot roll of fence cut in half (25 feet) makes a good sized bin for me. Most years I fill two with lawn clippings, kitchen waste, some weeds and leaves.

    I've used black plastic and weed blocking fabric but you really need a good irrigation system with them. Although I had good luck last year using just fabric with melons - but it was a good weather year for melons. I didn't try with/without scientifically.


    These are great for collecting leaves in the Fall. You could even give a neighbor empty ones. I've seen some labelled flour or sugar apparently used by commercial bakers and I get mine frm a greenhouse operation that gets them filled with potting soils.
    Probably good for lots of carpentry cut-offs/kindling too.


    [​IMG]
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  11. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    For this year its about 30sqft next year Im hoping to go much bigger.

    Its a little to late for leaves but I will keep that in mind for next year Ill save them through the fall.
  12. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Are you talking about this? http://backtoedenfilm.com/ Ill check it out looks interesting.
  13. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Yes.
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    For 30 sq ft I'd be incline to go with some landscape fabric or even black plastic this year, then go with some type of organic material next year. Get that mulch pile growing, save your grass clipping, leaves, etc, etc, and you'll have a fair amount for next year.
  15. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    one thing to watch for with lawn clippings is any pesticides or herbicides that might persist even in a hot compost pile

    I certainly wouldn't want to use fresh cut glyphosate-laden lawn clippings for mulch

    used correctly they shouldn't be a problem, but accidents happen .......
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Good point, but glyphosate won't be commonly found in lawns. They don't have round-up ready grass....yet ;) .

    2,4-D and other phenoxy herbicides, and sometimes some pre-emergent herbicides, are more commonly found on lawns and may not play nicely with your veggies. If you don't treat your lawn you have nothing to worry about.
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  17. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    It's pretty easy to spray roundup along edges of driveways and brick paths and then weed whack them mixing the mess in with the lawn clippings which then get tossed on veggies as mulch or into compost. Getting roundup mixed in with lawn clippings and/or leaves is actually pretty easy- even if accidently as mentioned.
    Straight off the lawn - not likely.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  18. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    My neighbor's a pellet pig. the plastic covers from his pallets are great for collecting fall leaves.
  19. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Easy solution to that though is to not use roundup. The world would be a much better/healthier place without that poison.
  20. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Monsanto and GM crops aside; there's some relatively recent research that suggests that Roundup interferes with critical biological processes to a much greater extent than thought previously. Based on how broadly the researchers define the effects though I'm somewhat skeptical of their findings. If they're right though it could be some very bad news for Monsanto.
  21. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    caution would ( seem to ) apply more to sourcing from neighbors or a landscaper
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  22. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Another suggestion - My date uses food scrap compost. I have seen his garden. The stuff works.
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  23. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    I am starting a food compost bin but it wont be ready any time soon.

    For the time being Im going to get a couple bales of pine straw from a local landscaper and then hopefully next year Ill have a nice big pile of compost ready to go.
    DevilsBrew likes this.
  24. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Once they go on sale, I will buy a bin and start with the food scraps.
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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