Best way and easiest way to remove weeds from the garden?


equ

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Hi,

Like the topic says. What is the best way to remove weeds from the garden? Easiest ? Maybe specific tool required?
 
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Well...depends on the weed, but my hands always seem to work best. For things with deep tap roots I like a "Weeding Fork". I don't know the real name, but it looks like a 2 pronged fork, haha.

For large swaths of weeds, covering with newspapers/cardboard and then with mulch seems to take care of it. Mulching heavily has really helped reduce the amount of weeds that I have to deal with.
 
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What kind of weeds?
What kind of plants are you growing?
How many square feet are you working with?
Do you prefer organic methods, chemical controls, a combination?
Each answer leads to different techniques. None of which cover every situation.
 

Meadowlark

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After 50 years of doing this, I've learned the hard way that the best way to deal with weeds by far is PREVENTION. Use cover crops and never allow your garden space to be empty open to weed seeds.

For example, here is my bean patch this year....pintos, navy, and Canelli. I plant the harvestable beans in rows between the soybean rows which are not harvested. No weeding required, none. Plus the soybeans are fixing nitrogen and replenishing the soil while I'm growing my shelling beans for the year.

bean patch.JPG


Here is my corn patch growing where a bed of alfalfa covered it all winter. Notice...no weeds.

corn plantings 2.JPG


The reason there are no weeds is shown below...a thick alfalfa bed which was in place from late summer to spring. No weed seed could penetrate that.


alfalfa 2 2022.JPG


Prevention....works for me!!
 
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Thanks for your suggestion. Unfortunately I’m way past prevention but is it possible cover crops might help in the long run?My half acre lot is inundated with weeds probably because most of it is clay. I’ve been slowly amending the soil bed by bed. If I removed weeds, added a bit of decent soil, and planted a cover crop (in the fall?) would that help moving forward? What cover crops would you recommend for small suburban beds? I’ll appreciate any guidance.
 
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I'm doing a variation of Meadowlark. Lots of leafy vegetables planted among the garden.

I have turnip, beets and mustard to plant in the fall.

As for weeding, knee pads and a 12 pack help me the most.
 
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A hoe. plant things far enough apart that the hoe will go between them easily and be really regular about doing it. Gradually a 'tilth' is created, a layer of loose soil you move about every time you hoe. Chopped off weeds cut up and combine with the tilth and gradually go back into the soil, meanwhile its protective layer stops the sun drying out the soil beneath and smothers weed seedlings.
It takes a bit of practice, be prepared to chop off the odd plant accidentally at first, but it improves the ground no end. As a student I had a summer job as a gardener and there were new beds of roses recently planted on solid clay. Four of us used to start each day hoeing them through until the first tea break, and the change in the soil by the end of summer was remarkable.
 
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Has anybody said hire somebody else yet?
Do you really believe that there is someone out there who would take on weeding as a job? A job is sitting in an air conditioned room looking at a computer screen, not out in the hot sun with a hoe. Even landscapers don't do it as they hire minimum wage laborers who work at not doing it rather than actually doing it. Work ethics are an extinct species. You know the old saying, "if you want something done do it yourself." I know. I am just a cynical old Texas redneck hillbilly.
 
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Do you really believe that there is someone out there who would take on weeding as a job?
That has been me. I remember one old house that had been rented by an historian to write a book, she was amazed when I showed her all the ancient shards that I had found in the garden, living history. I used to take them home for my daughter, she had a whole shoe box full.
 
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Do you really believe that there is someone out there who would take on weeding as a job? A job is sitting in an air conditioned room looking at a computer screen, not out in the hot sun with a hoe. Even landscapers don't do it as they hire minimum wage laborers who work at not doing it rather than actually doing it. Work ethics are an extinct species. You know the old saying, "if you want something done do it yourself." I know. I am just a cynical old Texas redneck hillbilly.
And to think I had a hoe in hand today!
 
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Do you weeds with fruits and vegetables? If you do chemicals probably want to be avoided im guessing? My neighbors use a weed barrier on their vegetable garden, and at end of season cover the dirt. I think some weeds still cone through, but not alot.

If its flowers then you can try stuff like preen, weed barrier with mulch or landscaping rock, or just use mulch and no barrier. There are sprays for weeds but you have to be careful how you spray so it doesn't get on the flowers, I dont recommend that but some people do that and their flowers are fine.

Then you also have the good ole fashioned way of pulling with the weed fork or garden hoe. I just dug up a bunch with a shovel because some were huge. I was out of town for 2 weeks. Pulling weeds burn calories and its exercise! :)
 

Meadowlark

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... is it possible cover crops might help in the long run? My half acre lot is inundated with weeds probably because most of it is clay. I’ve been slowly amending the soil bed by bed. If I removed weeds, added a bit of decent soil, and planted a cover crop (in the fall?) would that help moving forward? What cover crops would you recommend for small suburban beds? I’ll appreciate any guidance.
Yes. absolutely it is possible. More than possible... it almost certainly would help. Planted thickly. It would also tend to improve that clay soil.

Elbon rye, clovers, small cereal grains, vetch, turnips. Austrian peas are some that work well for me in fall/winter. It's important to not allow your soil to be barren and neglected. If you aren't growing veggie(s) plant a cover crop...even in summer, or especially in summer. Field peas are excellent summer covers.

It takes some time and certainly some effort, but the rewards are great!
 
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Thank you, that’s just the information I was looking for. My personal nemesis is smartweed, though every year a new weed variety appears.
The new weeds probably show your efforts are having an effect. We once did a study placing a grid over a large bonfire area where orchard prunings had been burnt and mapping what grew each year. As the nutrients from the ash were used up the weeds gradually changed until after about four or five years it had gone back to grass, but with docks, nettles, fireweed and plantains being dominant at stages in between.
 
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The new weeds probably show your efforts are having an effect. We once did a study placing a grid over a large bonfire area where orchard prunings had been burnt and mapping what grew each year. As the nutrients from the ash were used up the weeds gradually changed until after about four or five years it had gone back to grass, but with docks, nettles, fireweed and plantains being dominant at stages in between.
Ok...Who actually does that? Tip of the Hat, Sir...
 
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It was a long time ago when I was a teenager. My Dad was a biology teacher and he wanted the results for his class. We hammered in four permanent stakes and made up a wooden square that fitted over them with nails along it that we could string up for the grid. We did the same sort of thing with a larger area of coppiced sweet chestnut seeing how things changed from bluebells and foxgloves to honeysuckle and bramble as the trees grew back.
 
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It was a long time ago when I was a teenager. My Dad was a biology teacher and he wanted the results for his class. We hammered in four permanent stakes and made up a wooden square that fitted over them with nails along it that we could string up for the grid. We did the same sort of thing with a larger area of coppiced sweet chestnut seeing how things changed from bluebells and foxgloves to honeysuckle and bramble as the trees grew back.
That’s pretty cool and it gives me a glimmer of hope.
 

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