My vegetable plot (most of which is not planted) is quickly getting overrun with weed seedlings and perennials they are coming back even after tilling in fall.
Even where I recently cultivated before planting peas and onions is getting overrun!!!
How can I get a handle on weeds that takeover before I can even plant most crops?
I plant transplants whenever possible and apply that corn gluten stuff
This doesn’t work if you plant seeds
Tilling will only stimulate more weed germination. Have you looked at mulching with cardboard, compost and woodchips?
Yep. Tilling is like supercharging weed seeds.
I can’t possibly amass enough woodchips and cardboard for a 50 x 45 garden.
Tree trimmers in my area will deliver as much woodchips as I ask for free. So far I’ve lugged 20 yards of chips all over my property!
For cardboard, start Amazon Prime lol!
Not sure if it was mentioned but covering with black plastic early will keep weeds down until plant out. Then you can remove or plant in slits made in plastic.
Black ground cover works to smother weeds, it take a couple weeks in the summer but more like a month in spring and fall. You would move it onto beds after weed seeds germinate in the spring so only need enough to cover 25% or less at one time. Or you can cut holes and plant through it, though you should probably have irrigation set up under it.
Switching to shallow tilling for weed control will also help, a stirrup hoe works well because it only breaks the top couple inches of soil and does no invert it so more weed seeds are not brought to the surface to germinate. Although, different weeds germinate when conditions are right for them and can last in the soil for a long time so any “stale seedbed” technique can fail at first and need to be repeated.
Or you can use herbicides or a flame weeder or something to kill the weeds without disturbing the soil. Pulling weeds is a really bad idea because the roots bring up lots of weed seeds to the surface. The perennials either need to be dug out completely, sprayed with an effective systemic herbicide, or kept on top of by cutting religiously for a year or more.
my father used this technique and it works well. better than fabric as it denies moisture and light. once your plants start to grow in the x you can cut it back more to allow rain to get in. by then the weeds are toast!