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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #136
pmcgrady
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I just bought 2 rolls of 3' X 300' DeWitt landscape fabric and made a plywood jig with 2 1/4" holes. I am burning holes with a tomato paste can clipped on a pair of vice grips, I'm heating can up with a small propane torch... Working out pretty well but will take time doing 6- 300' rows. I would rather spend time doing this than pulling weeds!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #137
bower
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I recently saw rolls of brown paper 4 ft wide in a hardware store. They are selling it to spread on floors etc during construction. As long as it wasn't treated with anything ie just a heavy paper, I thought it would make a great mulch for garlic that can just decompose into the soil.

I haven't found the weed pressure too onerous in my own little garlic patch, but at the farm it's a big job. I think a paper mulch would be perfect for organic garlic farming, and it would sure cut down on the work. Not sure how much it would cost, however.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #138
henry
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Take a look for weed guard paper mulch 36 inches wide by 50 feet.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #139
Father'sDaughter
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I've had great success keeping weeds at bay and eliminating water/dirt splash up these past two years using shredded fall leaves. I mulch the garlic bed with an extra heavy layer just before winter, then pull off all but a then layer in the spring. The other bed keeps a slightly heavier layer on it and I just push it aside when I plant seedlings. It's fairly well broken down by fall and ready for a fresh topping.

I don't miss having to hunt down and pay for bales of straw. And even the supposedly "seed free" stuff would still start sprouting hay all throughout my beds.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #140
PureHarvest
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U bought this:https://www.amazon.com/Bernzomatic-1...=propane+torch
I dont think the soil will be harmed by the flame. It's only a couple seconds on the surface.
PC, you can lay multiple layers on top of each other and burn more than one at a time!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #141
bower
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I suppose the ashes of the weeds also return some elements to the soil.
It also makes sense to use a mulch that contributes something to the soil when it breaks down.
I used alder leaves on one of my beds last year, and they broke down pretty quick. and seemed to do a good job of protection, at least with few misses. Really like the kelp though, but the type of seaweed does make a differerence, the real kelps are heavy and make a good cover when you put them on and yet they break down from the underside when the top is dried. You'd need truckloads of it for a farm though.

Using a solid mulch that suppresses weeds for a full growing season should make a difference the following year, I mean that after the garlic the bed should be less weedy overall? Let us know, PH, whether weeds were fairly well suppressed for the crop that follows.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #142
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I recently saw rolls of brown paper 4 ft wide in a hardware store. They are selling it to spread on floors etc during construction. As long as it wasn't treated with anything ie just a heavy paper, I thought it would make a great mulch for garlic that can just decompose into the soil.

I haven't found the weed pressure too onerous in my own little garlic patch, but at the farm it's a big job. I think a paper mulch would be perfect for organic garlic farming, and it would sure cut down on the work. Not sure how much it would cost, however.
Paper mulch is great stuff but not on it's own. It tears in the wind, doesn't stay flat, weeds push it up. I used it under the dewitt sunbelt fabric as a light block to keep any residual grass from growing thru the fabric.

Dewitt sells rolls that are safe for gardening. Yes it is expensive.

- Lisa
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #143
bower
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I googled the one that Henry mentioned. I agree it's a bit expensive, but tearing in the wind would be a bigger concern for us. Of course we're used to dealing with row cover, and have lots of handy rocks to weight that down (it does sometimes get away though!).

There's a 'creped' version which sounds like it may be not a slippery surface, that would help if using leaves to mulch on top (yes they like to blow away too!).

http://www.weedguardplus.com/creped-...00000250-group

If you assigned a minimum wage to the hours spent weeding, I think it would be worth it. At least, for a farm scale operation where there is a lot of weed pressure. And again, if it reduced the weed pressure for the crop that follows that would be money in the bank too.

I think of other ways of reducing weeds - solarizing with plastic to kill seeds for example - and it means that the land is not in production during the peak season. Where at my friend's farm, every bit of usable land is sown in rotation.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #144
PureHarvest
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Quote:
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Let us know, PH, whether weeds were fairly well suppressed for the crop that follows.
I did not get a cover crop in after my garlic harvest, so the grassy weeds filled in pretty quick. But that is typical where I am. The weed seed bank seems to be unlimited where i am.
I had tarped half of the area for the summer and when I uncovered it a month ago, it was beautiful and ready to go for my fall garden crops. I tilled a few 30" wide beds to plant seeds of kale, collards, radish, hakurei turnips, lettuce, carrots and green beans. I transplanted some yellow squash and salanova lettuce that I started from seed too.
The tilled areas are showing some seed growth from weeds, but everywhere else is weed free.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #145
bower
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hmmm really interesting. Especially, no weeds where not tilled, but tilling brings up the seed bank from below.
I think my friend's farm is the same, a very deep seed bank of weeds. Unfortunately a lot got added to the bank this year as some of the land was left fallow and weed management was at an all time low everywhere but the greenhouse... Will be interesting to see what she decides to do about that in coming years.
I guess solarize followed by no-till or low-till could be a workable option.
But those seed banks can really persist a long time. I've seen it on my parents' land as well, which was very old farmland. Tilling brings up stuff you didn't even know was there.
Ha ha! I imagine myself next year, teaching the little toddler how to weed!!
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