Weekend Gardening: Weed Wars

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What you are about to see is not pretty.

It’s true, sometimes gardening is neither beautiful nor relaxing, particularly when dealing with garden pests and ultra resilient weeds.

Take, for instance, the grass and weeds growing in our garden and behind the fence.

Andrea Meyers - weeds behind the fence, forcing their way through

These weeds are the bane of our summer existence, and we spend loads of hours pulling them out of the ground to rid them from the garden. Some grow several feet tall and come through the fence, tangling themselves around the cucumbers, beans, peas, and anything else that’s within their reach. Plus the poison ivy tries to sneak through with it, something we definitely don’t need among the edibles.

Then there’s the mutant grass that doesn’t know it’s underneath a so-called weed proof barrier in the garden walkway we made back in the spring. This grass scoffs at the barriers, forcing its way through the black fabric and between the stones. During our recent weeklong trip to visit family, it spread itself all over the garden walkway leaving me with a huge mess of weeds to pull when I got back. And of course the mutant grass loves all the good compost in the raised beds. It’s everywhere, except of course in all the bare spots in the yard where we really want it.

Andrea Meyers - The mutant grass that's trying to take over the garden.

Once the mutant grass dies back this fall, we’re going to scoop up all the stones and start the whole project over, maybe with a multi-layer approach using cardboard, newspaper, and landscape fabric. Then we’ll have to figure out what to do about the enormous weeds coming through the fence.

Andrea Meyers - Enormous weeds behind the fence.

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    • says


      We should try to teach the boys the joy of weed pulling, you know, make a game out of it. But if your boys are anything like ours, unless said game involves throwing the weeds at each other, they won’t be interested.

  1. says

    This seems to be the battle cry of all my gardener friends, this year! The weeds have really gained control… they’ve popped up everywhere but in my large container garden… so, at least I know what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks… come visit when you can…

  2. says

    They are the bane of every gardener’s existence, and the only solution (besides Roundup) seems to be persistence. Landscape fabric is troublesome because you want it to be permeable to allow water and nutrients through to the soil, but that just allows the weeds to germinate, root, and come up through the fabric. I support using cardboard and newspaper because at least that’s recycled and biodegradable.

  3. Lisa says

    Hi Andrea, I love your site bu do not love the weeds. An easy way to handle the weeds: the permaculture way. Pull the weeds out leave them on the ground where they are. This way it prevents the new weeds to come up. When you put a thick layer of mulch on top of your ground, the soil is well fed and at the same time the weds sufficate and can’t come up.
    Try and I hopem it works for you. (forget a neat garden)

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