Updated: May 30, 2020
You guys, let me be honest with you. The weeds on the farm can get out of hand quickly. Last year was especially bad due to all of the rain we had in the spring. By the time I was able to get into the beds, the weeds were out of control. The worst one was the bind weed. I made a promise to myself to do my best to combat the weeds before they got out of control.
The first thing we did to keep that promise was to pull all of the woven landscape fabric up, unless it was around a perennial, then it stayed. Some farmers love this stuff, but not me. My weed pressure is just too much for it and I found that attacking weeds with the stirrup hoe in the beds that didn't have the cloth worked best for us. So I decided to ditch the cloth and use hand tools to get rid of the weeds. This stirrup hoe is currently winning as our favorite weeding tool. It's a race to see who can get to the tool shed first to get it. I think we may need to invest in a few more.
My next favorite tools are the lawn mowers, especially the push mower. It's what we use to control the weeds in the paths between the rows. Mowing works good to slow the growth of weeds and to reduce their seed germination. It takes us about an hour and a half to mow between all the beds, but its worth it and we get a pretty good exercise session in the process.
We try to grow as naturally as possible here, so we do not use chemical weed killers. We space our plants closer together, use straw mulch, hoe, and mow. We spread the straw around the plants once they are big enough and the weeds are under control. Straw helps to hold in moisture, shade out weeds and composts into the soil. This method is working well on some of the other beds, so we are incorporating it into the rest of them. We are also working our way to a no-till farm so if you have cardboard you need to get rid of give me a shout. I'll be happy to take it off your hands to help us control the weeds while creating a rich and vibrant soil to grow in.
Until next time,