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Old May 2, 2019   #1
nickel plate
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: California
Posts: 18
Default First time in years a weedless garden

My chemical free garden area is in a once used horse pasture and weeds are a huge issue. Years past I would fight back and weed the garden on a regular schedule but come mid summer you couldn't see the vegetable plants through the three foot tall weeds so this year I tried a new approach.
My tractor built berms are three feet wide across the flat tops and once dressed I covered them with six foot wide landscape cloth. Since the cloth came with no holes for the plants, I used a 12" square piece of plywood with a 3-1/2" round hole in the center as a template along with a standard propane torch. Placed on flat ground the fabric doesn't burn but instead QUICK flashes off in all directions and stops at the edge of the plywood hole.
The black fabric gets very hot in direct sunlight so I mulched the entire length of the berms using FREE tree chippings from a trimming crew working in my neighborhood. They were quite receptive to dump the load in my yard as opposed to taking it twenty miles to a landfill and paying a fee to do so.
The forty-eight plants are on a well water timed drip system with 2GPM cleanable emitters. I've been using the same ones for five years now and unlike the diaphragm types that tend to plug up to uselessness, these are designed to come apart for easy clearing of any mineral deposits and back in service in minutes. See photo.
So far we've had two small harvests of squash and have many tomatoes on the way with no weeds in sight. I've actually pulled less than a dozen from the forty-eight holes, a far cry from the thousands by this time last year.
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Old May 2, 2019   #2
Whwoz's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 696

Looking great Nickel Plate, should make life a lot easier
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Old May 2, 2019   #3
jtjmartin's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Williamsburg VA Zone 7b
Posts: 1,110

Looks great!

I use a heavy leaf & pine needle mulch all year long - rarely have a weed to pull! Love it.
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Old May 3, 2019   #4
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,767

Very nice! Love to see those chemical free solutions for weeds.
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Old May 3, 2019   #5
brownrexx's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,323

I use a thick layer of straw mulch and it works really well.
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Old May 3, 2019   #6
Salsacharley's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,992

Very impressive! Thanks for the tip on the emitters, too.
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Old May 3, 2019   #7
wildcat62's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Zone 6 Northern Kentucky
Posts: 1,077

The landscape fabric sure make it easier.
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Old May 3, 2019   #8
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North Florida
Posts: 921

Excellent! Wonderful idea ...
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