Author Topic: Weeding  (Read 7453 times)

CommonCents

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Weeding
« on: July 15, 2014, 05:54:46 PM »
Any tricks to cut down on weeds?  I have them growing in the gravel walkway, the brick steps, the gravel driveway and the paved driveway, the small bed of plants...  I haven't managed to rally my husband to help and I'm pretty tired of weeding, but not ready to throw the towel down and buy some likely terrible for the environment spray.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 06:39:25 PM »
I want to see the suggestions too.  The wet fall last year and wet summer this year mean that my weeds are extremely healthy  ;-(

My neighbour has a flamethrower (runs off a propane canister) and I want to borrow it for my gravel driveway.  You don't have to burn the plants, I gather, just wilt them.  But that won't work in my garden, and I don't dare use it on the poison ivy.


smalllife

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 07:26:33 PM »
For the cracks in human made materials, baking soda liberally applied usually does the trick.  For the small bed, check out one of the books on native weeks from your library and learn what they are telling you about the soil.  Plant something you like that fills the void from you removing the weeds, and should have a smaller battle to fight. 

Igelfreundin

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 07:53:59 PM »
Flameweeders are highly recommended among the environmental set, because you don't have to resort to anything toxic. For poison ivy I've heard that you really do have to bag it and throw it out, no composting or sprays; the whole plant needs to leave your property.

I've also heard that raised beds have fewest weeds, but I rent so I can't do raised beds.

iris lily

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 07:57:21 PM »
This is why I love Roundup.

So sorry that you are against i's use, it's popular for a reason.

While my goal is always to keep weeds eradicated in beds themselves by pulling them and using wood chips as mulch, I need chemical help in the pathways. I won't even try to argue that Roundup is not a lingering chemical, too many of the uninitiated shudder at the idea of "Ooooooo--chemicals!"

Thank you Monsanto, I love my Roundup.

PindyStache

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 08:01:01 PM »
I haven't heard of baking powder, but you can also use salt in places like cracks between sidewalk/walkway/driveway if you know you don't want anything to grow there for a few years.

Edit: I also have the same problem as you have with the spouse... she weeds for maybe 5 minutes every other week or so and in her mind she has checked this box of household tasks... :)

CommonCents

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 08:30:36 PM »
This is why I love Roundup.

So sorry that you are against i's use, it's popular for a reason.

While my goal is always to keep weeds eradicated in beds themselves by pulling them and using wood chips as mulch, I need chemical help in the pathways. I won't even try to argue that Roundup is not a lingering chemical, too many of the uninitiated shudder at the idea of "Ooooooo--chemicals!"

Thank you Monsanto, I love my Roundup.

I live right on a pond, which has regulatory requirements about what I can and can't put in the ground.  Granted, it's limited to the 25 feet within the pond itself, but I still would feel pretty bad using it farther away without at least trying other alternatives, and know it's likely to get into the pond (my home is right near a drain to the pond if I do use it.

Edit: I also have the same problem as you have with the spouse... she weeds for maybe 5 minutes every other week or so and in her mind she has checked this box of household tasks... :)

He actually claimed pre-buying the house that he was excited to garden and would do all of it.  Any guess to the percentage of weeding he's done compared to me?  I'll give you a hint...it's a very very round number.

minkcar

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 09:23:15 PM »
For goat heads we've had great success with a little propane flamethrower. Wilting the leaves cooks it and it withers in a few days. Tumbleweeds haven't worked so well for burning unless they're already dried, so those just get pulled and bagged.

Some fenced in chickens did a number on some cheat grass we had; left a big dust bowl area.  YMMV.

happy

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 11:22:42 PM »
For weeds on my pavers/paths/driveway I use just boiled water.  I just boil the kettle, and wander around carefully pouring it on the weeds. I wear long trousers/boots  to avoid splashing myself with hot water.  Vinegar and salt in a spray bottle also works.
For garden beds, put down a layer of newspaper then mulch. Always try to get to the weeds before they flower and seed.

kite

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 05:47:06 AM »
Weeds,  like all plants,  have a life cycle.   Pull or treat 'em early,  and it's a simple job.  There's no trick to it. 
I studied enough biochemistry to understand how Glyphosate works and breaks down that I'm not afraid of or opposed to it's use.  We do use it on poison ivy. ...again,  at the right time. 
A flame thrower sounds like fun, but you've got to be sleeping under a rock to believe propane isn't a whole lot riskier than RoundUp.   

lakemom

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 07:34:44 AM »
For weeds in hard surfaces boiling water works as well as or better than round up type chemicals.  Just bring water to a boil in your teakettle (or an easily carried saucepan) take it outside and pour over the unwanted weeds.  Kills them off and they don't come back for a while (like months to years).  I've used this method for over 25 years.  The trick for weeds in garden beds is to make sure the soil is moist down deep and carefully get the weed root and all to prevent it from coming back.  Once an area is relatively weed free a THICK barrier of decorative mulch helps keep them from coming back.  It needs to be 3-4" thick not just a pretty decorative layer hiding the bare soil but thick enough to prevent light from penetrating down to the soil.  Hang in there, once you get caught up its easier to maintain the weed free beds than to get them weed free from the start.

iris lily

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2014, 07:56:22 AM »
For weeds on my pavers/paths/driveway I use just boiled water.  I just boil the kettle, and wander around carefully pouring it on the weeds. I wear long trousers/boots  to avoid splashing myself with hot water.  Vinegar and salt in a spray bottle also works.
For garden beds, put down a layer of newspaper then mulch. Always try to get to the weeds before they flower and seed.

This is quaint and works, I suppose, for small areas.

We have multiple properties (most without access to hot water) in the city with lots of brick sidewalk. By the time we'd drive the hot water over to the properties, it would no longer be hot.

Glyphosate, rah rah!

GuitarStv

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 08:12:52 AM »
In the garden put down landscaping fabric around all of your plants, then mulch heavily with wood chips.  This prevents new weeds from growing up from seed, and blocks invasive roots from setting up shoots.  Cuts down on weeding about 90% without needing to use chemicals and lasts for years.

pipercat

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 09:31:01 AM »
1/2 gallon vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. dish soap

Combine in a garden sprayer, and spray to your heart's content!  Works better than the chemicals, too.

MDM

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 10:58:29 AM »
Quote
1/2 gallon vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. dish soap

Combine in a garden sprayer, and spray to your heart's content!  Works better than the chemicals, too.

It's certainly possible that the combination of Acetic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Ammonium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate, SD Alcohol 3-A, Lauramidopropylamine Oxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Poloxamer 124, Pentasodium Pentatate, and Sodium Bisulfite works better than the combination of the potassium salt of N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine and polyethyloxylated tallowamine...but they are all chemicals.

Of course some chemicals can be more hazardous than others, and all chemicals (including water) can be hazardous in certain circumstances.

TrMama

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2014, 11:12:14 AM »
A pressure washer works nicely on the weeds growing between the cracks in bricks and pavement. Just blast out all the accumulated dirt and the plant won't have anything to grow in. Make sure to backfill with sand afterward so the bricks won't start moving around.

For flower beds, the bottom of hedges, etc. I put down several layers of newspaper and then mulched with fallen leaves in the fall. It really helped.

If you have a gravel driveway, I'd treat with either a chemical weed killer or the flame torch and then put down more gravel so future plants don't have anything to root in.

At a past property that was nearly 100% weeds, we just mowed them with the mower. When they're all cut to the same length they almost look like lawn and the property appears pretty tidy.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2014, 11:14:47 AM »
For vegetation control (e.g. pavement cracks and fence lines), I'm a fan of glyphosate. I was a professional applicator for years and Roundup is a very, very gentle chemical. It breaks down very quickly and is barely toxic to animal life at all, even in pure form.

You won't see me say the same things about other common pesticides, though. I can't even stand the faintest whiff of 2,4-D (broad leaf herbicide that's a common component of lawn sprays) on the breeze. Awful shit.

But in my food and ornamental garden I typically weed by hand. Mulch where you want mulch. Better yet, grow ground covers that choke out other things. In the food garden they're called cover crops.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 11:25:21 AM »
Re the poison ivy comments, your poison ivy is wimpy.  My poison ivy has survived Roundup and 20% acetic acid solution.  The leaves die but the roots remain and new growth always comes back.  I am about to resort to major smothering mulch, but in some areas they are at the bottom of my roadside drainage ditch and I can't put mulch there, or I interfere with water flow after rain.  My plan is to just keep killing the leaves with Roundup and hope that eventually the roots are weakened enough that they die.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2014, 01:17:52 PM »
Re the poison ivy comments, your poison ivy is wimpy.  My poison ivy has survived Roundup and 20% acetic acid solution.  The leaves die but the roots remain and new growth always comes back.  I am about to resort to major smothering mulch, but in some areas they are at the bottom of my roadside drainage ditch and I can't put mulch there, or I interfere with water flow after rain.  My plan is to just keep killing the leaves with Roundup and hope that eventually the roots are weakened enough that they die.

There are special poison ivy formulations. I'm a bit rusty on my chem knowledge, but I think it's a higher concentration of Roundup plus an additive that helps it penetrate the waxy leaves.

Another way to go about it is to cut to a stump and apply straight glyphosate concentrate with a paintbrush.

CommonCents

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Re: Weeding
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 01:32:09 PM »
Space is not huge so I'll try the boiling water first on the driveway/path areas, and continue hand weeding the garden area.  It's really the driveway and path that got out of control while we were gone for 10 days and it rained a lot.