I'm mostly a hand weeder with the help of a trowel or weed poker for the really deep roots, but I also use mulch and occasionally herbicides if things get really out of hand or we get a new nasty like the giant ragweed down along the fenceline.
I choose other because it depends on which bed they are in and my mood that day. I try to put down mulch, but one of my beds have seeds that come back every year, so I don't use it in that one. Mostly, I pull them by hand, but I have been known to go out there with every tool in my arsenal to destroy the little boogers!
I voted "other" because some I pull, some I have to use tools, and some I have to resort to chemicals! Even though we mulch we even get weeds growing up in the mulch! We've been in our house 33 years and it seems like the older I get the more weeds there are!%@. I'm getting to the age where I just want to ignore them!
So many of the things that are willing to grow here in the Mojave Desert at all are classed as weeds (e.g. Lomatium californicum and Erodium cicutarium, not to mention prickly Russian thistle which looks better than barren earth but got weeded anyway from areas where a four foot tall *biter* wouldn't have been acceptable) that the question is close to academic for me. Most areas of my land I don't weed at all because the weeds are the only things growing there.
But when I was doing my Pretty Flowers Row in a fully replaced soil bed next to the garage where I could additionally protect them from the wind with wind breaker brick walls and provide them with water in the arid environment with a timed soaker system (before the rabbits ate every living thing in that planting row), I was hand weeding everything that I hadn't intentionally planted there. I also hand weeded (with gloves) the prickly Russian thistle in areas where I wasn't willing to let it grow to be a four foot tall biting monster. I also weeded with a trowel every single example that I could locate of a particularly noxious early season thing that grew via runners devoid of even a hint of pretty flowers (unlike Erodium cicutarium which rewards the landlord with a pretty boquet of tiny purple flowers). But bottom line is that when "weeds" are most of what one has, one doesn't do all that much weeding.
I use a combination of mulch, Preen(pre-emergent), and hand pulling. I 'm even guilty of using Round-Up down the length of our street sidewalk to keep those nasty weeds out of the cracks.
I have to say that mulch and Preen are my two best friends for keeping my veggie garden and flowerbeds mostly weed free! I can't tolerate weedy gardens in my yard, but it's a constant battle no matter what I do.
I pull them, I hoe them, I burn them, I spray them, and I cover them, and I'm considering using a pre-emergent next year. Burning is one of my favorites, but it only works on small newly-germinated weeds.
I pull them by hand. I love spending time in the garden weeding. I love the sound of the weed roots letting go of the soil... I love the smell of the gardens...I love the look of a weed free, freshly watered garden. I love weeding! But.. I only have two flower beds that are on the smaller side and am perusing them often. So it's easy to see a new weed come up and yank it out by hand. I'm sure if I had larger spaces to weed it would be a different story.
With five acres, I actually use a combination of all the above depending on the spot in the yard and the time of year ,and in addition I just mow the weeds twice a year in the "back back" of the property. This time of year I ignore a lot of stuff because it is so hot! We use pre-emergent once a year on the lawn in the spring (you almost have to if you want a decent lawn in Florida), and we use round up on a regular basis in the front of the yard around all the tree rings. Works great and no residual chemical activity in the ground. But, even so, there is an endless amount of weeding on our property, and I am hoping soon we can get a gardener to help out.
I hand pull, spray w/Roundup if it's something widespread or use a hoe or hand cultivator- whatever it takes to get them out of there. Nut grass is pulled ad infinitum as it never goes away. I really hate weeds.
I hand weed but sometimes just let them be if they are not interfering with my plants. Besides, I get volunteers of many of my hybrid plants that pop up spontaneously from time to time, so indiscriminate weeding could be a bad thing for me!
I chose by hand. I love being out in the garden very early in the morning to weed. Sitting on my little stool, it lets me enjoy all the garden visitors and plan my day I find it very relaxing. I do sometimes use a Japanese weeder I got at Kmart if there are lots of weeds in a tight spot. But my hand is the best. I have a cottage garden and let many flowers reseed so using other methods would stop too many blooms!
I voted "other" because I do a little of everything.
I use newspaper & redwood compost mulch, and sprinkle that with a little corn gluten as a pre-emergent. When weeds germinate, I start with hand-pulling, then progress to tools. My Weed Dragon has been wonderful in areas where I don't want anything growing.
I don't use chemicals unless I'm dealing with bermudagrass that I haven't been able to eradicate any other way. It's the bane of my garden...
I generally ignore weeds until they get taller than I am. Then, with a strong pair of pruning shears, I cut it off as low as possible, and hope it dies. So far this year I've removed 7 foot tall burdock, 6 foot tall mustard, several 8 foot tall clovers, a ten foot angelica growing in the lily bed, several 5 foot tall hawks beard, and several thistles 4 feet and up. The majesty of many of these plants was incredible, which made them difficult to cut down until they were about to set seed, for armies of burdock would not make me happy at all.
I voted "ignore" but that's not totally accurate. I have a vegetable garden that was lawn until year before last, and at first I weeded... having the same mentality as most folks: considering weeds as pests.
However, I have been reading about the actual benefits of some specific weeds such as breaking up hardpan as part of a plan to revitalize my soil. So, those I am ignoring and/or encouraging.
I am about to break my own rule on NO herbicides since I discovered a huge patch of poison ivy around the base of 2 small apple trees that were covered over for years by honeysuckle. Too much P.I. to pull out the vines and dig out the roots.
I hand weed and use Post for bermuda grass. There are some straggling privets from the previous homeowners that I fight with tools as I'm afraid to put 2-4-D that close to my trees. Roundup is not tough enough to get them.
I like to lay down newspaper and grass mulch around my veggies. That too is work but it lasts longer than pulling the weeds. If I find a weed I can't seem to pull, I at least cut the top off. There is enough seed already in the soil and I certainly don't need more.
Can't we have 2 choices? Mostly, I ignore them until they just get out of hand. I have a LARGE garden, so a full round of all the garden beds could take a month, if I did not have to work or do anything else! When I HAVE to deal with them, I pull them by hand, sometimes, like brigidily, using a hand cultivator to loosen the soil. I never wear gloves when weeding: how can you "feel" the weeds and their roots if you do? (I don't wear gloves when washing dishes, either [altho my wife does] because I don't think you can tell when something is clean with gloves!).
My worst weeds are horsetail and bindweed. They both just laugh at mulch! And the annual grasses just seed on top of it! A waste of time and energy for anything but moisture control.
I also voted "other". We innoculate the soil with mycorrhizae, EM and fermented plant extracts. This keeps the biology of the rhizosphere complex and active, so we don't really get a lot of weeds. Those that do come up are usually pulled by hand ...and often eaten!. The exception is the bermuda grass/johnson grass. That usually needs a tool (spade or fork) to help dig the roots out. We're making headway with the grass though.
I have a cool "circle hoe" that I got on sale from Smith and Hawken a few years ago which I find quite useful, especially at this time of the year, when it seems like 9 weeds sprout for every one that gets pulled. I used to mulch heavily and religiously, but then you don't get any volunteers from seed, so I'm trying to decide what I want to do. I guess ideally the plantings are thick enough to outcompete the weeds, but I'm still working to get to that point...I've used every method listed but burning, but feel a little dubious after the shed story...
ajaxmd I'm big into self seeders and don't mulch for that reason. I sometimes let the self seeders go crazy just to drown out weeds. Great idea for no muss/no fuss weed control methinks. Of course in your climate some of my self seeders might be considered weeds themselves
I didn't talk about my burning experience. There was a huge hurricance debree pile in the back back when I moved here. Took me 3 total entire weekends to burn it all off. On top of the debree weeds were taking over and it was all driving me crazy. I chose to keep all the burning in barrels that way I knew I was in control and not have any trouble from the fire department, so all the weeds were hand fed to the fire...ooooohhh the satisfaction of the sizzle and pop of all the hot juices bubbling out of weedy stems. We have another area to burn, and would have if not for the rain on Sunday. There is a bonfire pit with old wood that is covered in weeds and grass. Soon...soon...
I mostly hand weed. I tried vinegar in the stones around my pool but I still had to pull out the dried up weeds...more work. I'll dig if I have to. I'm with the folks that said they don't mulch or use the pre-emergents because they want the volunteers.
Grampapa you know Moo (my mom) is big into the vinegar thing but doesn't do squat for me. I wonder if it's a PH thing? Grampapa what is your soil and moisture conditions like? Anyone else find that vinegar works for them and if so what is your soil and moisture conditions? Note: generalizing works great for me. Just wonder cuz these kinds of questions get posted on our local Horticultural Forum and it would be great to share your experience. Thanks my friends.
I am so sorry you are in a drought. I truly truly truly feel for you and have been there.
We are not allowed 'uncontrolled' burns either. It was very labor intensive to pick up every weed and scrap and put it in the barrel. I could have burned it all off uncontrolled in a day...but it was the right thing to do and it was a labor of love. BTW, helicopters swooped in on me a couple of times throughout and left once they saw how I was doing it. Knowing me, I probably waved to them. Concentration of ash afterward left on the ground, not much grows in that pH, or you could spread it lightly throughout your yard and it will act as a great Ca, Mg, P supplement.
Dahlia- I would venture to guess it might be species specific also, although the factors you mentioned are probably relevant as moisture and quantity of soil will have an existing soil solution dynamic. Overall soil chemistry is not changed immediately by changes in the soil solution chemistry. That nothwithstanding, let me think of an example of widely tolerant plant- Aglaonema will tolerate pH in the low 4's range (about what vinegar is) and not much else will in terms of house plants and even palms. Any other plant, you start to see phytotoxicity because of the excess availability of minor elements at that pH range. Some plants just don't mind extreme pH ranges- others may not be affected by temporary changes. I can also think of another example...we used to use mild bleach solutions to kill algae in the green house. If the crop got a one-time splash exposure, it didn't hurt them. Hard to believe it unless you see it!
Great to hear fauna4flora. It's alot of work. I have an added guilt. Because I'm in the city and we have a reservoir we're not on water restrictions but all my buds outside the city are and they just watch their gardens die every summer . I have guilt every time I water. I don't do anything but self seeding direct sow annuals and very few containers for this reason although many in the city do. I think eventually we will (for the better of all) divert our reservoir water to the crops and livestock and those who haven't put in drought tolerant plants will lose their gardens.
LOL fauna4flora we cross posted. I was talking drought and you were talking vinegar. We are on the alkline side here so I think that's why vinegar doesn't work as you say. All the bad guys are already use to it. And then there's the weeds from hoot of course argh.
Dahlia, sometimes there are little ways around the watering restrictions, too. We have 5 acres and aren't that densely planted. We were compliant with the watering restrictions pretty much beforehand anyway, because when you water less it makes stronger root systems, so not a big deal for us. We are in the middle of everglades restoration, so watering restrictions will go on for years here in spite of full canals and a few months of normal rainy season rain fall. Explain that to most people who live here...anyway, point is, I have a neighbor with one acre and about ten times the plants we do. They have the whole property on drip irrigation, which is entirely exempt, and also entirely not cheap. But, they are passionate gardeners! And I am very grateful for the generous cuttings contributions I got from their bromeliads and plumeria last year.
From the time I was 5 years old until I was 13 (the last year he had a garden) my grandfather used me for his weed puller/hoer. It worked well for him, now I'm the grandfather and my grandchild is 4 states away. Things change.
The size of one's property may be the deciding factor regarding a preferred method.
If I had a small plot, I would hand pull & torch them. But I don't, so I use what fits the area conditions & the type of weed, which is all listed, excepting pre-emergents.
I pull weeds by hand and with gloves on. I also have some heavy duty latex gloves that work very well too. I get my kneeler/bench out, bring my Mp3 player and I find listening to music makes it an easier job. Very good therapy too.
There should have been an "all of the above" category. I tend to use jazz on a boom box. My neighbors love it! Of course my neighbor is my Mom. I use what ever method gets the job done, trying not to use too many chemicals.
I voted other, because I use roundup on the gravel driveway, hand weed most of the gardens, and smother some weeds with mulch. It's definitely getting better in the garden, but not so much for my back!
I've tried ignoring them but then they just raise their ugly heads and laugh at me later on. LOL I try to keep on top of things but like many of you, it's gets away from me sometimes. I pull by hand when I see them. I'm going to try bunchingthingstogether more next year because that seems to work well in one of my beds.
I use just about all the methods mentioned, including a flame gun, although no chemicals apart from on the driveways.
Great to see all the different approaches here. I do a lot of the ignoring them LOL.
Some I even consider quite attractive - the little stripey pink and white convolvulus looks really pretty scrambling into the lavender ;) and comes out once the effect is too scruffy...
I needed an option for 'two or more of the above'.
I smother them with paper and mulch in beds where that makes sense (where there is adequate room between plants, etc. I treat some areas with pre-emergents if time allows. Of those weeds that do emerge, I spray some with Roundup, esp those that are not annuals and cannot be easily pulled up without harming my plants. I pull weeds by hand when I have the time, especially those that will come up easily with roots in tact. Lastly, some weeds manage to get past all of the above. Those I ignore for lack of time and energy.
I voted "Other", since "All of the Above" was not a choice! I prefer not to use chemicals, but will when overwhelmed or when the situation warrants it. I have a Weed Dragon and prefer to spot treat with fire rather than chemicals in the lawn. I am an ardent mulcher, and have taken to underlaying the mulch with newspaper, which I find very effective. I like my Winged Weeder, but I'm not above getting on my hands and knees and going into hand-to-stalk combat. I use some pre-emergent, but not often enough, since, as the above comment implies, I have lots of experience dealing with post-emergence.
I don't think anyone mentioned my favorite method of controlling weeds -- I plant so many things so close together that there is barely a square inch of space left for a weed. It actually does work if the desired plants create enough shade to prevent the weed seeds from germinating.
Fauna4 - you might check into the Florida regulations for burning in your area. My only "real" job was working in air pollution control in Jacksonville for about 11 years. Enforcing the rules for burning somehow fell to our department (possibly because residents would most often complain about the smoke rather than the fire). Even burning in a barrel is considered "open burning" and is generally prohibited. However, if the fire department or other authorities show up, quickly stick a marshmallow or a hot dog on a twig and hold it over the fire -- that makes it legal as a "campfire for outdoor preparation of food." Or, don your favorite magical robe and begin to chant -- that makes it legal as a "ceremonial" fire. Or, claim that you have a rare medical disease that makes you shiver from cold even in our high 90s F summer temperatures -- you can then claim it as a "warming fire for outdoor workers." In Jacksonville, we had the authority to issue $50 tickets for burning in a barrel, so best check it out if you have any neighbors that might complain.
I bought a weed burner from Harbor Freight Tools and it throws such a huge flame and heats up to be so hot that I don't think I could use it for anything other than arc welding. LOL I tried using it on the weeds that come up in the cracks of my brick walks and it scorched everything within about a 3 ft radius.
I use all of the above except for burning, but "ignore them" is used the most often, so I voted for that. We have weeds year round but the summer and fall are the slower seasons. A weed burner thingy sounded interesting until I read Jeremy's post. Kinda the last thing we need in CA is fire.
Fun thread ("hand-to-stalk combat" LOL, Jeff). I weed by hand, with a weeding tool, mulching, and swearing. I try to remember to use gloves but usually get involved in pulling up "just a few weeds," which turns into a bare-handed marathon lasting for some hours. Sometimes I expend water and fertilizer nurturing a handsome large plant, only to discover it is a weed when a more knowledgeable gardener breaks the news to me.
I agree with many previous posters that a weed is only something you don't want in its particular bed.
Hi Jeremy! Actually a lot of members have talked about thickly planting to prevent weeds, including me! I.E. kwanjin's "bunchingthingstogether" and zhinu's "bio-intensive" to name a few.
I love your flame throwing story. Only you, J! Only you! I believe you are the ultimate done everything there is to do gardener.
I'll look into the regulations here now. You may be right, although I've heard that individuals can get burn permits. I may have been "cooking hotdogs" those long laborious 6 days now that you mention it. I have some really AWESOME neighbors, and some really ...anyway, three of the four immediately adjacent to the property are AWESOME. And, they all called us directly when I was doing that the first weekend. Or just stopped on in. Once we said, "We are doing this this way," it ended. But, the helicopters did zoom in on me twice, presumably thanks to neighbor 4 who has an unlicensed retail nursery in his back yard...ahem, ahem... Anyway, they came, they left immediately, they had bigger fish to fry. BYW, when I burn the weeds off the bonfire area, I really will make 'Smores. ;-)
I also voted other but needed 'almost all of the above'. If I don't use the dreaded chemicals on the blackberries I won't be able to get out of my house, let alone into my garden. I let them be out in the fields (love blackberry cobbler) but they need to stay in their own space. One of the things I learned when moving to OR was that EVERY THING grows good here, including weeds. We have a short season, so I think they're trying to take over while they can.
I do any and all of the above depending on the circumstances: around the base of shrubs or trees by hand, along the road herbicide in a 16gal. tank!! The only thing faster than weeds growing are weeds seeding! When they get tall enough I don't have to get on my hands and knees, I pull them and throw them in the road. I have seen those suckers continue to grow, bloom and seed even pulled out of their bed.
I like what someone said when they stated "A weed is a plant I haven't killed yet". We have a huge area we try to keep the weeds down in so the seeds won't blow all over...and we are starting to mow it now to hold the cinders and because the herbicides are getting so expensive. Then there is the gas to run the ... it just doesn't end!!!
I voted for mulch, although I do lots of hand weeding. Now, I'm wondering if I use too much mulch, as my iris and dayliliy
leaves are the brownest they've ever been. I'm removing rotting leaves every day, and weeding would not have been
any more time comsuming.
I havent read everything here but vinegar and salt will kill weeds very effectively. I weed by hand and tools at least a foot from each plant I want to keep. Mulch is a big help but there are still some offending weeds that spread by running roots I have to dig out. Then everywhere else and for edging goes a biodegradable weed killer. Cat pee is another natural weed killer but I`m afraid my cat seems to be after my plants and doesn`t want to help with my weeds lol! So new plantings get a protective cage for while. Another idea is weeding every two weeks is a totally better experience than waiting a month. :)
Be careful with salt, though, and keep it to limited areas. Sodium if allowed to build up can cause long term damage to the soil by displacing more valuable cations and affecting the physical structure in the soil. You can amend that eventually with gypsum, but I am leary of using salt for very much.
You are right. I think the straight vinegar is safer and I think maybe "control" is better than "perfect". My gardens have a naturalized look so the weeding doesn`t have to be intensive. The driveway mainly is where I weed the most. I like to create a canopy where the larger plants will give shade and then the lower plants will shade out weeds. It is like a natural environment where the weeds are shaded out and the weedling isn`t too bad if done on a schedule.
Edited: for spelling and added gardening style for weed control too. :)
I so the same as you, Boojum. Hand weeding my beds isn't a big deal except for the dreaded yellow woodsorrel. I was told if I burried it enough it would die. NOT. But the mulch was Kellog's Grow Mulch which has a lot of compost/soil in it so it doesnt' REALLY do much in way of impeding weed penetration. I sure built up the soil and increased my worm population though. lol
I'm on the hunt now for some bark chip mulch - medium brown. Some local guy is selling 15 yards for $15 of pine mulch, but it's "shreaded, not stirred"...I mean chunky enough. It's too light for my "garden decor" shall we say.
azrobin - as you may already know, you can check with local tree removal companies that have the large shredders and ask them to dump a load of wood chips. They will usually gladly do it for free -- it saves them the cost of dumping it at an approved site. The only precaution is that trees are sometimes diseased that are being removed and there is the possibility the disease could spread (though I don't know of any instances where this has happened?). The best load I ever got was palm tree fronds shredded. The tree crew kept asking me if I was sure I wanted it since it was nothing but palm fronds, and I said, "bring it on" to give it a try. The palm frond mulch lasted much longer than most mulch materials in our hot humid climate. Since I saw the palm trees they were trimming downtown, I knew the trees were healthy so I didn't have any disease worries. The other considerations for accepting a load of shredded trees are whether your neighbors are going to freak out about a mountain of mulch in your driveway (I've got my neighbors well trained to expect and tolerate just about anything -- I got by with a huge dump truck backing up and dropping about 25 cu. yds of horse manure with no one reporting me -- after that, its been smooth sailing LOL). Also, it takes a lot of time and effort to spread a huge load of wood chips, so you have to be prepared to invite friends and family to help, hire some workers, or plan on spending lots of time over a week or more to get the mulch scattered.
Jeremy, have you ever heard of Ganoderma? Well, anyway, even some local mulch producers could be infected, although it is likely not often or traceable, since they accept, Oh, anything and everything in the way of wood, including CCA waste wood, which is totally illegall...anyway, that's another issue. Yes, there is a potential for mulched diseased trees to spread disease, and if I ask my DH there may be examples of other diseases. We get a ganoderma conch now and then in the surrounding ground where it killed the old Laurel Oak (notorious for being disease prone), and we pull it up, bag it, and put it in landfill garbage. That spot where the old dead stump remains is relatively unplantable without risk.
Thanks for the info, fauna4. I will readily admit, I'm not much of a tree gardener. I never look up past about knee high where most of my plants hit. LOL It was my impression, though, that conch fungus only grew on already stressed or diseased wood? When I took down some large old oaks in my yard that were threatening to fall on my house during hurricanes, I had the tree removal people leave all the old wood. I didn't want them dragging it through my garden, knowing what damage that could occur. Over time, that old wood grew conchs -- lots of them, but I must admit that I am ignorant enough not to know the conchs could infect the healthy trees?
Anyway--- we are digressing far afield of the survey topic, so maybe we should jump over to the Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers Forum to continue?
Just a quick note. I don't have that forum in my watched groups, but can add tomorrow if you start a thread or whatever. Yes, I understand how you may have the impression that most conchs are saprobic. A very few are parasitic, Ganoderma sessilis, for example. Hits palms and trees. I will have better information tomorrow when I talk to my DH.
I put pre-emergent but honestly I usually do and have done all of the methods of getting rid of weeds.
When I first moved here I had the typical desert acreage full of horrid deeply rooted weeds with seeds of profusion. I just let them do their thing once the summer comes, it is just to hot to do anything but maybe spray total vegetation killer on them if you can, in the evenings. I finally figured out that if I put down pre-emergent around now, that it would keep these present green weeds from seeding in a month or so and germinating for the most part, then in December I do it again with the pre-emergent and then in late January any signs of weeds or crab grass I see, get straight vegetation killer like the strong Round up, put on each tiny plant with a Qtip, so it won't touch any other plant. They die and don't come back. It is like bgrumblin said here. You have to have a big strategy in the desert because weeds are like grass is back east on the side of the road and in vacant land but these are green in the spring and with no water and heat they die and seed all over and the winds are like hurricane force winds so they spread their joy with he and I.
I like your Q-tip method as a low maintenance, non-hot month least amount of product approach. You manage things on a long term basis, which seems very smart for your area. Here, sometimes we drill holes into the trunks of certain invasive species like Brazilian pepper and fill it with roundup. Kind of like there is more than one way to skin a cat, to quote an old saying.
I voted hand pulling, but I to am a crammer . it really does work and the weeds that do show up are sort of out numbered and unnoticeable .
I also wanted to add to those folks who were talking about vinegar I once read that you should boil down vinegar to make it more concentrated I did try it on some weeds growing through the cracks in my driveway, years ago and it made a worked
fauna4flora, on Aug. 11 jordankittyjo posted that she had tried burning weeds with a torch, but almost burned down her garden shed, and switched to a hoe!! I think your burning in barrels idea is a good one...
Actually, my most valuable weeding tool is my CD player and an audiobook! Love an excuse to listen to those, and I'm too busy to get to read as much as I like. Have been known to get really picky with the weeds when I'm at a good part in a book...
I have voted 'other'. I do all except using chemicals to spot-treat weeds, I don't put down a pre-emergent weed preventer an I certainly will not ignore them! If I would ignore them my garden would be overgrown in no time. We have warm, but moist climate over here. I remove them as fast as I can, before it can seed around. I don't mind weeding, I find it very relaxing and it helps me while I think sad or important personal issues over...It depends on what weeds and on what spot what I use to remove them.
I like to show you my self made (and invented) weed tool. Since I' ve had a back surgery I cannot bend so much anymore. This thing helps me to pull out the small weeds..works great for me..
I always use Preen early in the Spring after first doing a hand weeding. That takes care of most things until about this time of the year when I do some hand weeding and also have an old large army knife that I use to dig out things with longer roots. There are about 6 weeds I'd really like to do away with: nut grass, dandelions, clover, bind weed and a couple other flat ones that show up this time of the year. Those are the ones that nothing really seems to really get rid of. I've just accepted that fact that I'll be fighting them forever.
I don't want to scare anyone but I think weeds are really invaders from another planet. They are secretly plotting to take over the world. My proof? The list of invasive plants keeps getting bigger, not smaller in most states/provinces.
I hate to weed! I plant ornamentals close together so that their leaves block out the sun; most of the weeds won't grow without access to sunlight. Ground covers have the same effect. I mulch other areas - - especially the vegetable garden. I yank by hand any weeds that escape those two methods.
If I'm having a bad day, and the weeds bother me but I just can't take the time to weed - - I just take off my glasses and enjoy the overall beauty of the garden. The unfocused hazy view reminds me of a Monet painting. (I'm pretty sure he had his share of weeds!)
I get a bizarre satisfaction from using my dandelion digger. I enjoy the search and destroy missions. And after a few years you have a pretty good idea of what is going to come up and where. I have one bed that produces thistles. I love to get my gloves and a digger and go for them - and it's great when you reach mid-summer and they are completely under control!
I weed by hand without gloves, hence my deformed and stained index finger! I go to work on Monday with bandaids around the tips of my fingers where painful splits have occured and swear to myself I'll wear gloves the NEXT TIME I go out weeding. I agree with Potagere though, with gloves I can't "feel" the weeds & roots.
It's 104 degrees outside right now, so I think the weeds are going to have to keep 'till another day.
Sheet mulch (newsprint) + bark in shrub beds.
Dig 'em in the more crowded beds that I can't sheet mulch.
Torch 'em in the gutter & driveway with a weed dragon.
Spray the bindweed with glyphosate.
Pick the dandelion flowers in the lawn. Overseed with clover and hope it will crowd out everything else.
Ignore the creeping bellflower in the lawn. Can't do nothin' about it without poisoning the dog. Glyphosate doesn't kill it.
I got mine at the local home show. There was a co-op here on DG not long ago and I'm seeing them in nurseries now. They look like they're too thin to hold up, but definitely not. I know you can find them if you Google it.
I pull my out by hand, no gloves, but the best time is while the sprinkler is running on a fine mist (that the hummingbirds enjoy) or as it is raining softly. That usually makes it easier to pull the root and all out and a good reason to play in the water!!!
I have used some heavy duty latex gloves I bought at Harbor Fright and they work just fine for weeding. Don't get near the thorns on rose bushes though. I to out in back and without thinking about having no gloves on I end up pulling a few weeds. Really plays havoc with your hands, and just try and get them clean.
When I weed I mostly do it by hand although if it gets too hot I start ignoring stuff:lol: My containers of daylilies and lilies out back on the patio are infested with grass and weeds thrown when the apt. maintainance guy mows (without a grass catcher!). Not sure what to do about that other than pluck out and replace any displaced soil if I let them get too big and take up too much space.
I recently bought my first weed chemical and am a bit nervous about using it. We have our parking area right up against the front sidewalk and the sidewalk it right up against the flowerbed. In the crack between the parking lot and the sidewalk are huge tough clumps of assorted grass and weeds. I bought Ortho's Groundclear for them but I really am scared I'll off the good plants behind me in the bed:lol: I may just pour it in a glass jar and paint it on with a sponge brush:)
It sounds like one of the weed burning torches would be a good solution there, dmac. They run on propane and come with a hose to hook it up to any propane tank. I use the very small propane canisters that go with most bar-b-que grills. Just look for a torch that has a good, small adjustable flame so that you don't end up with the scorched earth flame-thrower like I got.
Thanks for the tip Jeremy...smaller for me would probably be the better option re the torch:lol: Although...it would be fun to use the one like you have to mess with the neighbors;)
Hadn't considered burning them out.
For the weeds growing up in the gravel driveway, I use the boiling water bath from canning. When the jam in finished, I dump the scalding water on the weeds and cook them right in the ground, roots and all!
So, if you want to relax in the house and don`t want company use the vinegar. :)
I use weedkiller from the store too if things are getting out of control in areas but I remember a conversation here on DG about vinegar killing weeds...It does work better if it is hot and sunny.
Also weeds can be pretty. Some people call this flowering vine a weed because it grows and covers everything in it`s path (which is every which way like it or not) but by the lake it has room and nothing else would grow in this spot.
Edited: For a afterthought. :)
P.S. I have a friend who uses ammonia poured in dishes by the door as a natural way to deter bugs and I about passed out. Imagine the vinegar on the front walk and ammonia by the door = pizza guy falls over = forgets you owe = free pizza :)
I sorta shot myself in the foot. Last year I let my garlic chives go to seed. Let me tell you, I can pull all my weeds by hand EXCEPT those darn chive seedlings thay are EVERY WHERE! I've created my own weeds!!!
Yep, ammonia and vinegar vapors would probably be strong enough to keep skunks away. LOL
Karen, your vine is probably considered a weed because it is a Japanese invasive (Clematis terniflora http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/683/) though I could be wrong because I still have trouble distinguishing it from our native Clematis virginiana http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1168/ Amazing, though they are so similar, one's a weed and one is a wildflower. I have C. terniflora now blooming in my yard also. Even though I know it is an invader, the scent when it flowers is too wonderful to miss.
if i wasn't afraid of burning down the house i would have taken a torch to a few of my flower beds. when we bought the house there was 2 feet of snow on the ground... so when i saw how overgrown the beds were i decided everything was a weed and had to go. (they had been left the stuff go for 7-10 years, it was scary)
we're still pulling and digging. things up in an attempt to put a retaining wall and full sun flower bed in before fall. i'm not sure we'll make it.
I never remove anything until I see it flower. Then I have to wrestle with its right to life. Then I wrestle with whether or not it is invasive in our locale. Then I pull it out and let it lie: back to the earth. Unless of course it's actually contributing positively in someway to the overall function of the garden, in particular: bees, butterflies, hummingbirds or winter birds. I usually watch it for a while to see who visits it. At the conclusion of its apparent positive function, I will remove it if I don't want it there.
I live in the Catskill Forest, so there are abundant areas of local wildflowers, some of which are called weeds because they aren't massive polyploid monstrous mutants of the original species (see the new double daylilies, looking hemorrhoidal, all contorted and deformed).
We're currently under siege by The Kudzu of the Catskills: Japanese Knotweed, a gracious 6 to 8 foot bamboo-like plant which someone brought in as an ornamental for their landscaping and now it is reproducing exponentially, out of control, establishing vast colonies where nothing else can grow, making streambanks unstable and ultimately changing the food chain for indigenous species -- plant, insect, and animal.
But -- GEE. It's so LOVELY.
It's very hard to get people to see it as a dangerous rampantly invasive weed.
Dahlias produce nuts??? I'll have to plant some !!
The problem with invasives is that the general population remains absolutely clueless about environmental, toxic pollution and nutritional issues. While I campaign locally to raise consciousness, people simply don't want to hear it because corporate interests remain in control of their consumption/purchasing through years of advertizing/brainwashing -- call it indoctrination with a sense of entitlement -- and most are simply ill-equiped to even understand the issues. And in a country where the government is totally controlled by capitalist entities: pollution, environmental destruction and ill-health are all either derived from profit-making schemes or present profit-making opportunities. They fit the capitalist model.
So, I'm sure that government inaction on such a seemingly small issue as invasives can be expected until each issue gets as big as Kudzu in our south.
Are there movements in your area to control the bellflower?
Lilimerci: forgive me but -- free strawberries? -- what a great groundcover around your other plants !! I have wild strwberries all over the place. They are small and delightful. Last year I put in some everbearings here and there just HOPING they'd establish themselves around the blueberry bushes and raspberry canes.
I think you should give up, bake some biscuits and whip some cream, or if it's REALLY bad open up a little farm stand ! You'd probably spend less time and energy harvesting and selling than with the measures you've been employing to get rid of them.
Or I could send you some of my Catskill Mountain slugs, which should end the issue for you once and for all ! But then you'd probably never have anything to mow again either. That's one thing to be said about the desert...
We have Japanese knotweed here in the Pacific Northwest also. It is beautiful. Our county weed board is working on inoculating all they can afford. The Master Gardeners also put out the information as much as possible.