I have a large round raised bed that I planted a soil building cover crop in for the winter, expecting to simply turn it over in the spring. However, it is full of weeds. Darn those weeds! Is weeding my only option when I get ready for planting my veggie garden? I am guessing that if I do not weed the area or simply turn them under, they will come back in full force and compete with what I do plant.
As long as the weeds have not gone to seed, and are not of a rooting, running, perennial sort, then you could simply dig them in or mulch over them along with the cover crop and they shouldn't be back at all....If new ones reappear later, they are probably from other seeds present in your soil.....
I don't have any weeds at all on my property. However, I do have chicken treats, goat salad, rabbit lunches, guinea pig nibbles, and pig snacks that pop up all over the place from time to time. It's just part of my gardening job to move these plants from their unintended place of sprouting to the proper paddock, coop, or cage. When you are harvesting undomesticated volunteer plants for your flock, it's a lot less of a chore than "weeding".
I've had some good stuff pop up like that but lately there has been a mass of weeds that the rabbits don't seem to care for. I'm sure there is some use for them but I haven't discovered it yet. They have lots of roots with nodes that resemble huge grubs almost. I'm thinking pigs would probably like to root up those things... if I could keep them out of the other year-long beds. I've just started covering them over with cardboard in the hopes that it might choke them out but I'd be surprised if it work very well.
Hi Gail, Weeeeds, the gardeners deligh, NOT. If and when your raised bed is empty or near empty of produce/planted stuff, just keep roughing up the soil with a hoe, pick out any weeds you have uprooted or disturbed. The answer is to do a regular hoe so you don't give the weeds a chance to get established. This will work on established weeds but will take a little longer. Happy gardening
I would suggest just turning everything over a few weeks before planting and later pick out any undesirables that come back up.
If you want to try a living mulch, consider using white clover as your cover crop. It establishes a great weed barrier and you can either teansplant into it with things over 5" tall, or tear a patch back like carpet and seed into it (then use that removed piece to establish clover over some weeds elsewhere!)
Sue Knowles wrote:Hi Gail, The answer is to do a regular hoe so you don't give the weeds a chance to get established. This will work on established weeds but will take a little longer. Happy gardening
Let me second what she said. Why the hoe though? Why not pull them up by hand? Because it is about 10X faster if not more so (not exaggerating). If you do it regularly (once-twice a week depending on how much sun you have) you can knock out all but the most persistent weeds.
If you don't want to use the weeds as a mulch, you can rake them up afterwards and throw them in the compost pile. Make sure to KEEP hoeing regularly to make sure that no other weeds are able to take their place.