Monday, July 30, 2007

Some gardening questions ...

First, is there anything we can do over the winter to prevent weeds next year?  Can we till up our garden this Fall, then lay a tarp over it all winter?  Will this work?  Is it bad for the soil?  Has anyone ever done it?  Is there something else that would be better?

Second, what can you do with viney plants like spaghetti squash to control where they grow and keep weeds out of them?  We are used to planting in rows, and Steve tills between them to help with weeds, and we hand pull within the rows.  This year the vines went everywhere and we couldn't till or hoe anything.  It was overwhelming,  and I ignored it too long.  Yesterday I spent over 2 hours pulling weeds to find my garden again.  It no longer looks like a jungle, but there are still weeds to be pulled.  And it was difficult to weed between the vines w/o damaging the vines.  What can I do differently next year?

We have been gardening (skipping some years) for the past ten years.  But, this was our first year planting spaghetti squash and zucchini.  And we have always struggled with weeds.  We had started to get a really good garden soil in our first plot, and then the trees grew more and shaded it too much.  So we had to start over in a new plot.  And then we didn't garden the last two years, so the weeds settled in again.  We're still working to reclaim our garden plot from the rest of the yard.



  1. I have absolutely no advice...just wanted to let you know I had been here. :o) I'm thinking of starting a garden next year though, so I'll stop back by and see if anyone else had any input.

  2. I'm not sure about controlling weeds over the winter. I know you can plant crops that improve your soil over the winter - you just till them under in the spring. I believe it's called green manuring. You can Google it for more info. I probably wouldn't be successful at it because I wouldn't turn it under in time (sigh).

    For weed control during the growing season, I mulch heavily right when I plant. For seeds, I plant and then put a heavy layer of cypress mulch in the rows next to the planting row (if that makes sense). When the seedlings begin to sprout, I push some of the mulch between them. I was so busy this year that I only planted tomatoes. I didn't end up mulching either. The key for me is to have the mulch before I start planting! You don't have to use cypress mulch - that's just what I find convenient. I don't have a huge garden; just six 4' x 8' raised beds. In other words, I'm no expert, so ignore this if it won't work for you!

    I hope this helps a little!



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