Friday, November 18, 2011

How can I clear out my new community garden plot organically?

I just got a community garden plot. I have until next spring to get it all cleaned up for planting. The problem is, it was abandoned all year and is completely covered in weeds. It's pretty much a big patch of tall grass. (the plot is 20'x20') What's the best way to get rid of it all, including the roots, so that it won't grow back later? I'm not allowed to use any chemicals so it needs to be an organic solution.

Any other tips on having a successful vegetable garden would be appreciated too!

How can I clear out my new community garden plot organically?
cut all weeds as low as possable and rake debris up and remove from plot. till area good and rake grass and roots up and remove. repeat process until soil is clean and then till in some amendments like peat moss or chichen or turkey manure or black cow manure from the store. have a soil test done and they will tell you how much lime and fertilizer to apply and till this in good too and rake again. till and rake again in the spring.
Reply:Mow off the grass and weeds. If you are allowed, burn off the residue (helps eliminate weed seeds). If not, rake up the residue. Hoe the plot (good SHARP hoe), cutting deep enough to cut off the grass and weed crowns. Turn the plot with a shovel. You can turn it twice with a shovel and have it pretty well broken up. Remove any root clumps and plant crowns in the process. This process should not take longer than 3 or 4 hours, much less if you have help, 20 X 20 feet is not very big.

Apply lime and 3 inches of organic matter. Turn the soil twice more, and you are done for the winter.
Reply:santa clause herbicide--hoe!hoe!hoe!
Reply:If it were me, I'd cut down the existing vegetation and then use a scuffle hoe to clear the plot. Scuffle hoes remove just the very top layer of soil and also lift out the exisiting vegetation by the roots.. You can then rake it up and dispose of it.
Reply:I would cut it down as far as you can. Then cover it with a heavy plastic tarp and leave it there. The heat that is produced by the tarp will kill off all the weeds below. Come spring you can turrn the soil over several times, compost and plant.

they have a corn gluten weed killer that is 100% ORGANIC AND KILLS weeds and grass. it is a little expensive, but worth the cost in labor.
Reply:I'm afraid the only organic way to get rid of the grass is to get yourself a good pair of gloves and pull it up roots and all. You may need a spade or fork to dig it out. It will be easier if it's wet like right after a heavy rain.

Here's a great site to help you with your garden:

You may want to try intensive gardening which is where you grow things in squares instead of having rows. Because you aren't using so much area as a place to walk, you have more room for plants. Also, using compact varieties of plants will allow you to grow more things than normal varieties. I grew incredible vegetables in raised beds that were equivalent to the plot you have. I had to give stuff away because we couldn't eat it all.
Reply:Not to be negative... but some misguided advice here---

When I studied in Europe, one of the most common farming and gardening tools we used- particularly in the UK, is a torch weeder.

It's also common in the USA in areas where organic growing is being conducted. But otherwise not very common...

I would reccomend cutting and removing (compost it on the property) the tall material. Use a torch weeder (or flame weeder) on the remaining vegatation.

It isn't important to burn the plants as if they were in a fire, simply slightly passing over the plants "burst their cells" internally. (yes- it "Kills " roots- but you may need to repate it again in Spring in a few areas)...

As the fall is seeding period, you may want to repeate the method in early Spring.... or use corn gluten.

Another person mentioned Corn Gluten- they are partly informed of the product, Corn Gluten does not kill plants grasses or weeds directly.... it ONLY blocks their seeds from growing (it's a preemergent weeder).

Using a tarp or plastic coverig will kill off some of the plants but it would only be 100% effective if you did this from Spring into Summer. Generally- it's too late in the season for this practice... some of the vegatation might survive a "tarp weeding." Especially some types of weeds.
Reply:Check out for organic ways to kill weeds and pests. They also have great natural fertilizers that are safe to people %26amp; animals.


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