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Calling all organic farmers....

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posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 10:28 AM
I am a fledgling,beginner gardner with just a couple of little patches. The more experienced gardners will shake their heads. Not only do I not know what I am doing, I have a really bad back, which leads me to this problem. So please be kind.

Because of major back issues I threw my vegetables into the ground. Because 1) I was running late into the season and 2) It was the easiset thing to do.

The weed problem has proven to me the amazing part of nature at how quickly it can take over. Vegetables grow slowly. Weeds grow at amazing speeds. So they are taking over my seedlings.

Yes I know I should of put down newspaper or something, but now I have weeds and plants about the same length.

I DO NOT want to resort to weed killer. Any search on the net I have done leads to an expensive product I have to buy online. I have found very few home remedies.

Instead of resorting to plucking blades of grass one by one over yards of garden, is there anything I can do to get rid of the weeds?

Any help in this matter is appreciated. And any info on what to do better next year is also appreciated.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by nixie_nox

Hello nixie_nox! I am not an experienced gardener, but here is what on from Japan had to say about gardening.

I saw him in a documentary on CBC or CTV. ( I'm trying to find a link to him and I can't for now. Don't even know his name. )

Anyway, he was saying, after nearly 7 decades of gardening and of observing plants in relation to one another that the best way to garden was simply to "throw the weeds down". His garden was by far the most beautiful I ever saw, and you know what, he just watched it grow. His vegetables were incredible!
As he said, when you observe nature, it rich, and yet, no one gardens it. Some plants will generate some stuff that will be released in the land, and other plants thrive on that release, releasing themselves something that will benefit another type of plant, and so on. He didn't even give water to his plants.

He let them live in harmony. And it was awesome!

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:26 AM
Well, our ducks usually do the weeding around here, good at slug control as well. The one thing I can say is this: this year, you may be stuck pulling weeds, do it. Don't give in and buy weed killer, it will poison the vegetables, most is too toxic for human consumption. Next spring, stretch black plastic across you soil early on, stretch it late fall and it will melt the snow and warm the soil so you can get started early. You can leave it in place and punch holes through it where you want your veggies. Some people cook off their soil, meaning they use tarps stretched across the soil during the spring, to cook the ambient soil and sterilize/kill any seeds that may by therein. Afterward, application of good compost and a seaweed tea will bring up even the most stubborn veggies. Other than that, high tunnels/hoop frames/row covers work amazingly. If you just can't abide weeds, consider investing in three to five gallon containers and setting you plants on a bench, (container gardening) this will keep most work at waist height and save on your back, I know, i broke mine ten years ago. Good luck. u2u me if you want to talk.
p.s. we all get stuck weeding, it's part of getting to know plants in general

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:35 AM
a goat
a long-handled metal-tined rake

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by nixie_nox

Hi there and great news, you will have great fun just to be part of your own creation.

The weed problem..dont cover with news paper as the ink is pretty nasty. A good long handle hoe helps a great deal when you have a bad back.. did you plant in rows? i only ask as it is easier to spot the weeds v the seedlings.

you have plenty of growing time left... beans , peas etc.. dont panic .
The area will grow what it needs to attract nettles for butterflies, flowers for bees etc other weeds for lady birds to eat the green and other fly.

A hoe is your best bet , if you have dug your plot this year cover if not using for the winter. It takes a year or two to feel for your plot ..

cardboard boxes are good coverage.


[edit on 13-6-2010 by BANANAMONTANA]

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:55 AM
Well, I know it's old fashioned and all .. but I use a hoe. Practice a little first on some grass and weeds, and you can be very precise with a hoe, and remove the weeds all the way down to the dirt if you want. I get the best results with a chopping motion and the "blade" of the hoe at a 45 degree or less angle to the ground.

Once you have the weeds cut down to an inch or so tall or less with the hoe, then you can apply wet newspapers over the top of the weeds and that should slow or stop their growth.

You can also use straw or old hay flakes (a "flake" is one square section of a bale) and put down over the weeds, then put loose straw or hay around your veggies which acts as a mulch.

If you live out in the country, geese and ducks are great weeders, but they work best when the veggies are taller or better grown than the weeds.

For next year, you might want to consider trying either a raised garden or straw bale gardening, either of which should be much easier on your back:

Introduction to Straw Bale Gardening

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:04 PM
Weeds are only weeds because you don't want them growing in your garden. I have found that most of the weeds I pull from my garden are edible and very nutritious. Lamb's Quarter, Purslane, Dandelion, and some others are good in salads if you know when to pick them. Also, grow vegetables that do well in your climate and soil, the ones that grow like weeds and reproduce well. I have been growing New Zealand Spinach for three years because it reseeds and grows like crazy. I only bought seeds once, and it keeps coming back. Squash and beans grow well in my garden too.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:26 PM
I also got overrun with weeds last year, so this year I am container gardening. Everything is so easy to reach now, easy on the back, easy to debug.
One thought going into it this year was to save on water, because I have to get my own water, until I set up my roof system. Of course it has been raining for 2 weeks straight now, so anything in my flower and herb garden is buried in weeds

Container gardening is also really good for people with short growing seasons, if you can pull your containers indoors for the fall. Almost anything can be turned into a container as long as there is drainage.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:36 PM
reply to post by hhott

That straw bale gardening idea looks really good. I'm going to try that next year. I think it would extend my growing season also, I am quite north - 53 parallel, so my season is only about 2 months. They would be easy to build a temporary greenhouse over.
I just need to find someone that still does small bales, everyone around me does those huge round bales that need a forklift for each bale.
Once it has broken down over the winter it would be a really good compost additive, and then just start fresh again. Or mulch around the trees, hmmmm.
Sounds better and better the more I think of it

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by snowspirit

Snowspirit, you're thinking of HAY. They don't round bale straw.

Here's a tip: A lot of places like Walmart, Atwoods, and other garden and home improvement stores carry straw bales for Halloween decorating. If you go around the week after Halloween you can often buy what they have left over really cheap. Store it outside over the winter, and by early Spring it will be "old" straw and ready to use for straw bale gardening. Feed stores will also carry straw bales because it is used as bedding for many different animals.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:48 PM
reply to post by Aresh Troxit

LOL Weeds!!! Not seeds!!! I said I was a novice! Dang!

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by IandEye

*laughs* I have thought about snagging the 11 year old up the street and seeing if they want to make a few bucks this summer. If kids even do that anymore. Human kids, not goats.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:01 PM
reply to post by hhott

I actually got a kit this year to do a raised bed. The corner posts and I just need to buy 4x8. Simple enough that even I can do. But it was a little late this year but I will definetly do it next year.

Problem is we don't even get decent weeds. Our soil has a lot of clay so we get grass, this awful nettle type plant, and this tree type plant which I think is oak.

Now I do concentration gardening. Where you pack a lot of plants in a small space. The plants don't grow as big or produce as much, but you get more for the space. Alas, if I had done nice neat rows I could use the hoe.

I do have an instrument that is like a short blade where you can slice the weeds off, but since I didn't do rows, it is hard.

Last year when my back was really bad, the weeds took over, and the plants didn't do so hot. Or I would be tempted to just let nature run.

And the other issue I fight is that since the soil is clay, it requires constant watering, so plants wither fast if I am not on top of it.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:03 PM
A lot of great advice everyone, thank you.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:06 PM
Just so you know...even experienced gardners are perplexed by those darn ol' weeds.

May I suggest cheap old straw bales as the frame of a raised bed... 3 bales long and a bale at each end in between. Fill with compost/dirt/cured broken down manure...makes a great cold frame simply by placing old storm windows on top.

This way, you don't have to place so much stress on your back, the ground stays moist, and the weed issue is more easily dealt with. When it rots, simply work into the compost pile and start over.

You'd be suprised at what you can grow in such a "small" space.

I have gardened almost all of my 47 years and my first memories are following behind my dad dipping out cups of water while transplanting tomatoes.

The straw bale gardening idea...that is growing plants directly in the bale a good idea, but requires a lot of watering...daily even. Plus, it also requires a lot of work adding nutrients to the bale.... if you like that much work, go for it. I'll stick with variations on the tried and true methods... raised beds and long rows.

Good luck.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:07 PM
here's the answer....removable water barrier in the rows ...then get a cheap small'll be done in three minutes....push some dirt back up on the rows, and set the water barrier back, so the little toy tiller is a weeder!

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:11 PM

Originally posted by hhott
reply to post by snowspirit

Snowspirit, you're thinking of HAY. They don't round bale straw.

Here's a tip: A lot of places like Walmart, Atwoods, and other garden and home improvement stores carry straw bales for Halloween decorating. If you go around the week after Halloween you can often buy what they have left over really cheap. Store it outside over the winter, and by early Spring it will be "old" straw and ready to use for straw bale gardening. Feed stores will also carry straw bales because it is used as bedding for many different animals.

Oh, ok, I am new to the prairies still, I have seen the smaller bales a couple of hours south of me, I will just have to go with the truck and talk to a few farmers. There is probably someone up here who can help me out, and let me know who to go see, so many people with horses, sheep, and cows around me. I know around here Walmart doesn't carry it, because this province is almost all farm land. Thank you

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 01:57 PM
gardening organically is an endless process

i was discussing something similiar to this with my girlfriend the other day

just recently i had a bad ant problem, they totally destroyed my zuchinni a few weeks ago, i had it in a container which they infiltrated and built a nest in, so basically i just soaked the whole nest in water for a couple of hours to drown them, well they came back a few days ago, maybe a different colony or something, but this time i had just harvested a large batch of jalapenos so i put them in a blender with water and mixed it up and put it in a spray bottle and sprayed the sh*t out of their little ant pathways and roads, as well as pouring some into the tops of the bamboo they were trying to colonize, this is an organic method i found online recently and seems to deter the ants from any area engulfed in the fumes of jalapenos, the reasoning being that ants are superiorly sensitive to smells, as well as jalapeno juice (esp home growns) being HOT

anyways, yesterday they were still trying to set up their colony as much as they could in areas that the juice either didn't reach or had dried sufficiently during the night, so i had to saw off the peice of bamboo where they were congregating and throw it as far away from my garden as possible (i hate killing bugs of almost any kind, i have a likeness for ants so i'd rather just send them to live somewhere far away than kill them)

basically, my point being the conclusion of my ant battles that i discussed with my girlfriend that there is a major difference between organic gardening methods and the average "go buy chemicals" methods

i have heard of some great organic gardening methods, such as to get rid of gnats and misquitos grow lavendar, they hate the smell and will not go near it, thus surounding your backyard with the herb or similiar herbs that they don't like will create an enviroment they won't want to stay in, i have heard or putting ash on your vegetables to keep certain bugs detered, i have heard of MANY great and GENIUS ideas for organic gardens, but they all have one flaw and that is that they work for a period of time much less than their counterpoint (man made chemicals)

when the bug man comes and sprays every 6 months, you're garanteed 6 months of bug free time, that's how chemicals work, 1. very powerful 2. long lasting

organic methods, of almost any kind, WORK JUST AS WELL except for the fact that they work extremely shorter! the jalapeno juice method i used really worked, except that over a two day period the juice dries and the insects it detered are free to come back, so you have to use it ANY time you have a bug problem which could mean implementing it, or any other organic method, about a couple times a month or week, NOT like the 6 month chemical treatments we are used to

i know, that seems off topic, and doesn't really answer your question a bout weeding, but i just wanted to clarify something that i realized:

organic gardening methods do work, but you have to expect them to be more time consuming as well as perhaps require more elbow grease and mental commitment (if you aren't smarter than the enemy, they will defeat you)

as far as weeding, the best method i know is to weed the ground really well BEFORE you plant seeds or seedling, THEN use a shovel to work and mix the ground (mixing in manure if you would like to add some organic nutrients, your plants will thank you) and mix the soil about a foot and a half deep at least, then wait a day or two and inspect if any weeds have survived under the top of the soil and started growing again, if they have repeat the process, probably doing that twice is about as close to perfect as you can get, the point being to mix and blend the soil so well to obliterate the weed roots that new weeds would grow from

after that it's like i said: organic gardening is an endless pursuit, expect to be weeding at any sign of weeds, and don't be lazy like me and wait till it gets really bad to weed, it's easier to just pick a few weeds here and there a day than spend a whole day every weekend weeding your whole garden!

also, maybe bending at the knees will help your back?

good luck and happy gardening

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by nixie_nox

I am in Northeastern Oklahoma, and I have a lot of that hard clay, sandstone, red dirt, and a few sandy areas. The first time I tried to grow anything it was a dismal failure.

Here are some of the things that have turned my gardening around.

1. A "compost" pile. Mine is just a piece of fence in a circle. I toss the straw and chicken litter, weeds, vegetable scraps, old chicken feed that didn't get eaten, grass cuttings, old hay, and even sticks and rotten wood on the pile. I don't turn it or anything. After a while the bottom of the pile becomes rich black "dirt," and that's when I shovel some out of the bottom and add it to the soil in the garden.

2. Aged horse manure. Luckily I have a horse and therefore an endless supply of manure, but likely anyone with horses will happily let you have some manure for free. When I clean up the "paddock" I toss it on a pile, and every six months or so I start a new pile. After a year or so, the old pile is once again more like black dirt than manure, especially at the bottom. It, too, gets added into the garden soil and tilled in.

3. Wood ashes. We have a wood stove, and in the winter I periodically empty the ash bucket by sprinkling it over the garden area. In the Spring the ashes get tilled into the soil along with everything else.

After just two years (this is our 3rd Spring/Summer here), my garden area is now rich black loamy soil with lots of earthworms and my vegetables grow like weeds. And it didn't cost me a penny or involve the use of any artificial fertilizers.

posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 02:11 PM
Hay bales and container gardens are great if you have limited space. Both alternatives are great if you have back problems which prevent you from doing regular garden maintenance. Container gardening requires more watering, but other than that, it is pretty much maintenance free. I would suggest reading Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening". A book worth buying. Mel offers a wealth of information that makes gardening fun and easy. When weeding your garden you must get to the "root" of the problem. Don't just pull the top of the weed off because it will reappear in a matter of days. Dig with a hoe and remove entire root. Happy gardening!

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