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#1, turob, super-duper, hyper effective, awe-inspiring perennial weed TERMINATION methods?

 
dan long
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Someone posted on this board asking for advice regarding whether or not to use woven weed block. The post got hijacked and ultimately became a debate about the merits of different methods. I figured we need a post dedicated to such a worthwhile debate, so here it is. How do YOU lay the hurt on persistent weeds?

A few methods i'd seen on the aforementioned post:

woven weed block
black plastic
clear plastic
newspaper
cardboard
contractors paper
carpet
bark/straw/any other organic material you can get your hands on
cover crop

chickens
geese
pigs
sheep
goats
cows?

"Staff of Noxious Justice" (well-sharpened hoe)
"Gauntlet of Clear Fields" (a pair of gloves to hand pull with)

 
wayne fajkus
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Witnessed An Interesting Thing today. I was constantly fighting the horse pasture, pulling the weeds they didn't eat so they wouldn't take over. FINALLY got adequate sheep fencing up and let them out today. They went straight to the stuff I had been pulling out by hand.
 
John Devitt
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Location: Belfair WA
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How about not preventing them but using them.
-Dandelions - eat or chop and drop (great dynamic accumulator)
-Just found out one of the "weed" is pigweed (araramathus sp.) now I eat it
-weeds can provide green manure
- weed can provide weed suppression.


My favorite garden tool is a D-hoe. I use it to chop and drop with out ruining soil structure.

The only weed I do not like is buttercups, but the sheep seem to so I am OK.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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I think "termination" is a pretty extreme word, and a pretty problematic concept.... Perhaps the word "control" is better, or even better, "co-existence"?

When I lived in South Georgia I tried everything imaginable against bermuda grass and nutsedge. Weekly tillage for entire growing seasons. Putting tilled soil under clear and black plastic for whole summers. Penning chickens and pigs on areas for six months at a time. Various depths and types of mulch. Nothing led to an eradication except putting permanent edging a foot down around small areas and then diligently handpulling every sprig every week inside of this for two or three years. An even smaller area I succeeded with by digging out the entire soil volume a foot or more down, and sieving it through a screen to pick out every bit of root, runner, and "nut" before returning it to the edged bed.
On a larger scale I found that a complete cardboard and/or paper sheetmulch, well overlapped, and placed either before or after planting transplants, would suppress the stuff enough to give my crops a chance to produce. But it had to be re-done every year, without fail. Otherwise, it took weekly hoeing, tilling, or pulling.
The only other idea I had was to let sections of the garden go through succession up to the thicket, shrub, or sapling stages, perhaps encouraged by dense plantings, since I observed that the problem weeds were intolerant of shade and could not be found in the woods and thickets a few feet from the edges of the gardens. The plan was that when no weeds were to be found, the thicket would be cleared and planted to garden again until they returned. In other words, shifting cultivation.
 
Tina Paxton
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I'm good with "live and let live" for most weeds. I chop and drop or do heavy mulching (which doesn't stop them). BUT, I have one "weed" that is becoming a major problem. Sida rhombifola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sida_rhombifolia). Now, true, it could have uses as a medicinal and for that reason alone I'd like to keep it around. BUT, it doesn't play nice. It is taking over! And, it won't die -- I've tried dowsing with vinegar and epsom salts and while that appears to work...in a week or two, IT'S BACCCCKKK!! If I wasn't afraid of making matters worse, I'd just chalk it up to being a great biomass producer...but what if putting it in the compost pile just helps to spread the monster?

Animals won't touch it....I've tried, they say "thanks but no thanks". (Chickens, ducks, and rabbits that is. I don't have goats or pigs.)

It laughs at sheet mulching, cardboard layering, etc.

Ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
dan long
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Tina Paxton wrote:I'm good with "live and let live" for most weeds. I chop and drop or do heavy mulching (which doesn't stop them). BUT, I have one "weed" that is becoming a major problem. Sida rhombifola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sida_rhombifolia). Now, true, it could have uses as a medicinal and for that reason alone I'd like to keep it around. BUT, it doesn't play nice. It is taking over! And, it won't die -- I've tried dowsing with vinegar and epsom salts and while that appears to work...in a week or two, IT'S BACCCCKKK!! If I wasn't afraid of making matters worse, I'd just chalk it up to being a great biomass producer...but what if putting it in the compost pile just helps to spread the monster?

Animals won't touch it....I've tried, they say "thanks but no thanks". (Chickens, ducks, and rabbits that is. I don't have goats or pigs.)

It laughs at sheet mulching, cardboard layering, etc.

Ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


I was under the impression that vinegar only kills the aboveground part but doesn't harm the underground part. As far as helping it spread through composting, why not hot compost it? If your unwilling to turn it, you can do a layered compost as described in the Humanure handbook. Even if you don't use humanure, you can still use some other high nitrogen source such as: chicken, duck or rabbit manure, cotton seed meal, kelp, fish offcuts, etc.

You've only described two methods you've tried: chop 'n drop and vinegar/epsom salt. Have you tried anything else? Have you perhaps tried multiple methods in concert? For instance chop 'n drop then spraying with vinegar when the shoots poke out? How persistent are you with following up? When they come back in a week or two, do you follow up with another hit of vinegar? Perhaps if you are persistent, you can exhaust the roots storage of carbohydrates and starve them to death?
 
Tina Paxton
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dan long wrote:
I was under the impression that vinegar only kills the aboveground part but doesn't harm the underground part. As far as helping it spread through composting, why not hot compost it? If your unwilling to turn it, you can do a layered compost as described in the Humanure handbook. Even if you don't use humanure, you can still use some other high nitrogen source such as: chicken, duck or rabbit manure, cotton seed meal, kelp, fish offcuts, etc.

You've only described two methods you've tried: chop 'n drop and vinegar/epsom salt. Have you tried anything else? Have you perhaps tried multiple methods in concert? For instance chop 'n drop then spraying with vinegar when the shoots poke out? How persistent are you with following up? When they come back in a week or two, do you follow up with another hit of vinegar? Perhaps if you are persistent, you can exhaust the roots storage of carbohydrates and starve them to death?


I would say, you are correct about the vinegar/salt only affecting the above ground portion. And, no, I've not been very consistent with going after it as soon as it pokes up again...I try but there are so many different things I'm trying to deal with at once that it gets ahead of me. Vinegar/salt and chop/drop are the two methods I've tried. I'm not sure what else to try so I guess I need to be more diligent at the chop/drop until I get it down to a controlled single bed of the stuff.

I don't have time to tend to a hot compost pile even if I got lucky enough to actually get it hot--I've tried multiple times and never built it correctly so never got the heat. I guess I'm just not gifted with compost building genes.
 
John Devitt
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Location: Belfair WA
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Part of the vinegar/salt theory is that it changes the soil to become to acidic and saline to grow anything. it is best used for walkways and such. Wife loves the stuff.
 
dan long
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Tina Paxton wrote:
dan long wrote:
I was under the impression that vinegar only kills the aboveground part but doesn't harm the underground part. As far as helping it spread through composting, why not hot compost it? If your unwilling to turn it, you can do a layered compost as described in the Humanure handbook. Even if you don't use humanure, you can still use some other high nitrogen source such as: chicken, duck or rabbit manure, cotton seed meal, kelp, fish offcuts, etc.

You've only described two methods you've tried: chop 'n drop and vinegar/epsom salt. Have you tried anything else? Have you perhaps tried multiple methods in concert? For instance chop 'n drop then spraying with vinegar when the shoots poke out? How persistent are you with following up? When they come back in a week or two, do you follow up with another hit of vinegar? Perhaps if you are persistent, you can exhaust the roots storage of carbohydrates and starve them to death?


I would say, you are correct about the vinegar/salt only affecting the above ground portion. And, no, I've not been very consistent with going after it as soon as it pokes up again...I try but there are so many different things I'm trying to deal with at once that it gets ahead of me. Vinegar/salt and chop/drop are the two methods I've tried. I'm not sure what else to try so I guess I need to be more diligent at the chop/drop until I get it down to a controlled single bed of the stuff.

I don't have time to tend to a hot compost pile even if I got lucky enough to actually get it hot--I've tried multiple times and never built it correctly so never got the heat. I guess I'm just not gifted with compost building genes.


If you don't have time to tend a compost pile then i highly recommend you read The Humanure Handbook. It is free online. Again, even if you aren't using humanure, the way the author instructs you to build a "no turn" pile might be very helpful to you. Just think of your weeds as the straw and whatever high nitrogen input you use as the humanure. As a bonus, you can use the resulting compost to smother the patch that you pulled up.
 
Tina Paxton
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dan long wrote:
If you don't have time to tend a compost pile then i highly recommend you read The Humanure Handbook. It is free online. Again, even if you aren't using humanure, the way the author instructs you to build a "no turn" pile might be very helpful to you. Just think of your weeds as the straw and whatever high nitrogen input you use as the humanure. As a bonus, you can use the resulting compost to smother the patch that you pulled up.


I will do that! I had that book years ago but it got misplaced in a move somewhere along the way. I'll find it online and read it again. I need composting to be easy....very easy.
 
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