You'll kill a lot of the beneficial organisms you are trying to invite into your garden/field that way.
Jesse Fister wrote:Alright. Thank you for all these replies. I am starting to formulate a strategy in my mind. Let me rephrase:
Pig nuking is a last resort method that will work well.
Hand weeding should be easy in new soil. We can plant Nasturtium to out-compete the grass over areas we can't manage this coming year. Over the whole garden if necessary.
To plant, we should add some good soil in little pockets or rows, along with the seed, then mulch around it. Big leafed vegetables like squash and potatoes will help us shade out the grasses coming in. Start with potatoes first. Smaller herbs and vegetables may be more difficult to deal with, may require more hand weeding, and a careful eye to see what's growing and what isn't.
We should add compost pockets at intervals into the garden to aid the worm community.
What should I be adding as new mulch?
Is new mulch even necessary with all the bio-mass we have in this garden?
Does it ever work to just drop a seed into what's already there, without adding new soil/mulch?
The neighbor has a big supply of mature raspberry plants. How should we transplant them?
Jesse and Kyle
Jesse Fister wrote: Now that the garden is 3/4 year old, I wonder if that soil will be established enough to plant the raspberries into. Or should we add some soil pockets in around their roots?
I don't know if money is your limiting factor or if labor is your limiting factor, but you can buy a big round bale of hay and unroll it over that garden in 1/2 an hour or less. Same goes for the paper. Depending on the hay, it might be seedy like your straw was though. That's why before I suggested grass clippings, both free and weed free as long as you keep your grass mowed before it goes to seed. High nitrogen too. So you don't have the problem of nitrogen locking found with wood chips or straw.
Jesse Fister wrote:
It is a large garden. Mulching on top of it again would be a lot of work, but I see the solution to our seed problem in this. We'll talk about our resources and time for doing all or part of the garden this way. Otherwise, we can face it head-on with hand-weeding, out-competing it and so forth. Then crop again, or turn the straw over when it's young. Take it year by year, section by section of the garden. Do more every year.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
One video that might really help you, if you haven't already seen it, is the Back to Eden video.
The author uses woodchips for mulch, but also mentions other organic matter can be used. He does a great job showing how to plant into mulch and it's benefits. As a word of "warning," the video definitely has a Christian bent, with references to scripture throughout. They mostly explain his motivation for gardening thusly, but, he does a fantastic job of showing how to grow with mulch, in a very permaculture manner.