Weeds in my garden pre planting
Hi, I have a garden in which I grow tomatoes about 10 or 12 different ones. Lemon cucumbers and regular cucumbers. Zucchini and a few other things. I have alot of success. 50 to 125 lbs of tomatoes a year.i have deck pots as well. Every year at this time I have a million different weeds. How to I get rid of them. I usually pull them then till the dirt, but they return during growing season. Is there a better way to eleviate them from the start and not so much during the growing time. Thanks
Multnomah County Oregon
Congratulations, you are producing great vegetables! The best way to control spring weeds is in the fall either by mulching your garden with 2-4 inches of loose woody mulch or by using a green cover crop. Mulches applied in the fall will, by blocking light from the weeds germinating over the winter and early spring, decrease weeds significantly. Mulch makes a big difference. Spreading shed leaves as a mulch also works. This article discusses various mulch materials, Mulching Woody Ornamentals with Organic Materials https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1629.pdf. This article gives good information for Cover Crops for Home Gardens https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/fs304.pdf. It's important to plant cover crops in late summer, early fall so the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate and develop enough to do well over the winter.
Mulch can also help your vegetable garden now. By covering the soil, mulch slows soil surface evaporation, keeps roots cooler during hot weather, keeps down weeds as we've been discussing, and adds organic matter to the soil as soil organisms break down mulch.
Thanks for your reply, I will use the info. However, how do I get rid of the weeds that are there now. Pull them like I usually do the turn the soil. Should I put anything in the soul now before planting. Thanks
You can pull weeds or hoe them if small. Grasses are some of the worst weeds as they send rhizomes under the ground to pop up in your garden. If you keep at the grassses they will eventually disappear. Making sure your vegetables have the right sun, water, pH and nutrients keeping them strong enough to stand up to the weeds is a very effective method. This article has extensive information on vegetable gardening specific to our area, Vegetable Gardening in Oregon https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec871.pdf
You can put mulch on top of the soil, but not into the soil. Mulch should be broken down before getting incorporated into the soil Pre-emergent herbicides that prevent weed see germination also prevent vegetable seed germination - for months.