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How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

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How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

Postby brekra » Apr 30, 2013 6:58 am

I could use some advice!
I have had a large area (30' by 100') at the very back of my 1 acre property cleared of weeds etc. It had been untended for 5 or 6 years and was completely overgrown. It is on a south facing slope. Right now it is bare soil. My ultimate plan is to make it into a rock garden. Funds are limited this year. Any suggestions as to what would be a good first step (or 2) to, preserve this 'weed free' state and prepare it for the wonderful rock garden I hope it will be in a year or 2?
Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

Postby lilybulb » Apr 30, 2013 8:02 am

I tried one year to leave a garden bed empty and it just doesn't work.It was all cleaned up and the weeds just started to grow again.I had to cover it with a tarp,to keep the weeds down.The next year I pulled it off and everything looked dead,but started growing soon after.It will have to be covered with something.Good luck.
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Re: How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

Postby Knitwitch » May 17, 2013 8:41 am

Nature abhors a vacuum. Bare soil will be filled with weeds, it is just Nature's way. To keep it less weedy while you build the garden try using landscape fabric pr black plastic to keep things in check.
It sounds like a big project. You may want to come up with a design or plan that you can implement in stages over the seasons while keeping the remainder of the area under wraps against the weedy invaders.
Alison, in zone 5b Nova Scotia
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Re: How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

Postby repool » May 26, 2013 7:22 am

In my garden I use lawn clippings (added throughout the year) around all my plants. If I was you I would use a mix of 4 layers of newspapers (black print only) kept down with u shaped hooks pounded into ground, then clippings (if not many weeds now) or straw (or any mulch). I would go to the local store and ask if you can take old papers from their recycling bin. If you do have many weeds go to the home building store and buy black plastic to "solorize" or kill weeds (after 6 weeks), then an organic mulch on top. Either one you could do in 2 stages, so that will help.

Here is the link to the NC university that has a lot about weed control, including chemical.

Now if weeds are in sprout stage you could use corn gluetin (cow feed) to kill sprouts (will kill vegetable or wanted young plants as well) . ... y?page=0,1

Either way I don't envy the work you're going to have to do. I know I wouldn't have the time for it. This fall rake up all those u pins then put down black plastic. I would just put the black plastic over your garden (solorize weeds) before snowfall and kill the weeds, then in the spring take off the plastic and dig it up (double dig) adding mulch around your new plants.
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Re: How do I control weeds in a large new bed?

Postby conniepr » May 26, 2013 9:33 am

I use newspaper under bark mulch in areas where I don't want a lot of plants. It helps a lot. I didn't bother with pinning the newspaper down, just wet it and covered it with the bark mulch. You can get the newspaper at the newspaper store. They have a lot of unsold newspapers that they recycle and they love it when they can give them away for something like this. It takes a lot to cover a large area because you want a thick layer. The newspaper can stay there forever. It decomposes (over a long period of time) and they say that it (eventually) improves the soil. If you're doing a rock garden, I think the newspaper is your best and cheapest choice.
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