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How to fight weeds from taking over.

Pike Road, AL

I tilled and then plowed to prepare a vegetable garden for this Spring. It has been a week and I havent got around to planting my seeds. I can see the beginning of weeds just sprouting all over the garden. I'm too old and too lazy to do the manual effort of hoeing. Can I use a herbicide like Roundup to kill the weeds and immediately plant my seeds below the surface? I heard a product called Preen will prevent weeds after the vegetable plants start growing. Is this an acceptable plan or is there another way to fight the weeds effortlessly?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I use preen around my flowers but I don't know if it is safe for vegetable garden use or not,I'm usually using garden mat cloth from the dollar store,covering the cloth with grass or whatever mulch I have.Maybe someother's will join in this conversation with more ideas about what might work for you.
Herbicides can seriously impair seed develpoment,that much i'm sure of.

Greenfield, OH(Zone 6a)

I often use "Round-Up" or some other brand of glyphosate prior to planting. Just read the label for the proper rate.
You could seed the following day as glyphosate becomes inactive upon soil contact.
You can apply Preen prior to bean crops, (again, read the label) but other crops need to have germinated.
I can't tell you how effective Preen is, but I do plan on giving it a try this year on a couple of rows of beans. My neighbor uses it and swears by it.
My favorite weed control is grass clippings. I get them where ever I can. 4 to 6 inches of fresh grass clippings will suppress the most contrary weed in the garden.

Orlando, FL

That kind of thing messes with the water.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Preen keeps seeds from germinating so you might not want to use that any place you are planting seeds. I'm not sure how long that chemical stays in effect. You might look on their site and see what it says.

Round-up has some residual effects and does not fully break-up. There are some articles on it posted someplace on the web and also DG. Still some people use it for weed control. You would need to make sure that it does not spray over onto anything you want to keep.

Foxboro, MA

You can use roundup if you choose, but I personally prefer to avoid it around my edibles. It's obviously used by commerical growers so we're exposed to it on a regular basis. I would use a smother and cover method if possible. A thick layer of newspaper or cardboard will prevent many weeds from germinating as they need sunlight and kill the ones present by preventing photosynethsis. Another option is spraying the weeds with vinegar. I have never used Preen but I imagine it works much the same way as corn gluten. Corn gluten is both a nitrogen source and pre-emergent weed killer. The seeds are able to germinate in its presence but are unable to form a root system. The recommendation is that corn gluten is applied a minimum of 6-8 weeks before you attempt to plant in the area as you will have trouble rooting the plants that you do want to grow. It does not effect established plants so you can use it around perennial plants or once your annuals have become established.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I keep my garden virtually weed free by using a deep layer of leaves in the walkways and a thick layer of finely mulched leaves in the raised beds.

Personally, I've never used pesticides, herbicides or fungicides in my vegetable garden, or found them to be necessary.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

There is no form of gardening or planting area where you don't need to weed seedlings that emerge along with the veg seeds or flower seeds, even if you mulch, weed seeds drop either by birds or wind and will grow where they drop, if you find it a hard chore to hoe or kneel to weed then could you not pay a kid to help you out, to use any weed killers etc and you have no idea as to what they are, is a dangerous thing to do as no mater where you live, there is always run off and where you put the killers is not always the same place they end up, they leech into waterways when it rains, they can end up in rivers, reservoirs, lakes, all because we gardeners think we are doing a great job getting rid of weeds that will return next month, week or year, nature is working that way and has done since the world began, so get rid of those weeds you do see, and the others under the soil or blown in the breeze etc will soon stand up and show yow they are back. all you need do is half an hour each day or second day to keep on top of the weeds, thats not a hard job and it's good excises.
good luck. WeeNel.

Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

a thick layer or straw may do the trick for you. it also helps with water retention,and keeping the soil temps cooler ( both useful for you in AL). honeybee mentioned leaves, a free/cheaper option. a layer of mulch really helps a lot. maybe enough that you won't be too adversely affected by weeds.

when starting a garden from scratch, i have also put cardboard over sod & covered it with loam & compost (3-6 inches). that really suppresses already sprouted weeds or kills existing sod. soak the plot if you are not getting rain. then when i plant large seedings/small plants, i cut a hole in the cardboard.


Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I'm really not in to chemicals in the vege garden but, I was wondering about miracle grow garden weed preventer.I read somewhere you could use that safely for the garden

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

yardener; I forgot it is three months with the preen and it works good 4to 5 stars if it was me rating it.
And i'm not purposely doing commercials but it is beginning to read that way

San Francisco, CA

Cardboard works really well because it blocks the sunlight. I also put it in my compost. I try to just use the brown stuff and stay away from the glossy/highly colored cardboard.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

There is a Preen product for gardens. It is corn gluten, which inhibits germination of many seeds. You'd only want to use it where you were transplanting seedlings, not direct-sowing seeds. Corn gluten can be used by organic growers since it is completely natural.


Greenfield, OH(Zone 6a)

Quote from juhur7 :
yardener; I forgot it is three months with the preen and it works good 4to 5 stars if it was me rating it.
And i'm not purposely doing commercials but it is beginning to read that way

I recently read the label and even with its high cost I'm willing to give it a try because grassy weeds always overtake my beans.
I like that the label says I can apply it "before" I sow beans.
We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, when July gets here I'll have a couple clean rows of European Soldier beans

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