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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am posting here because I like those who have done more then the sights that say do, OK I think.
I have been organic gardening for about 6 years now. An area about 50'x120' I want more, anyone who eats an organic zucchini or tomato or pepper knows what I mean, I can taste the difference. I am at the end with the weeds though, I'm tired of pulling then I turn it over early because they grow up four feet in as little as 1-2 weeks if I don't stay on top of them.
In the olden days before I knew any better would put enough weed killer to kill a human and use seeds from a local Ag. School and water the heck out of it and nice looking plants and veggies but no taste and I got afraid to eat them after a while honestly.
I really want to double or triple the size next year but I am tired of the weeds has anyone done a larger organic garden? Also you can make a small fortune just selling in the area I'm in.
 

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I used to have a small 'organic' plot. No pestisides, etc. The neighbors ducks used to keep the weeds down. Then we got a coyotte, then had no ducks. The weeds over took the garden plot, so it was returned to grass. Now it's brown shredded wheat with no rain up here.
Had corn, beets, carrots, toms, strawberries, peas, beans, pumpkins, squash, cantelope, raddish, water mellon, and potatoes.
Selling produce up here is also profitable, if the garden is large enough. Several of the 'super markets' are buying from the local small gardeners just to keep up with the need for good local produce.
Maybe I'll start the plot up again, next year.

Fresh picked red tomatoes right off the vine at Christmas time. Who needs a Christmas tree when a large tomatoe bush is loaded with produce, sitting right in your living room.
 

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Disc, disc, disc, as often as practical threw the non growing season. After each time turn out the chickens. In the growing season hoe, hoe, hoe. Ask the local wildlife folks to set a coyote trap. There are lots of organic herbicides but most don't work and the ones that do change the Ph of the soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Went and visited a local organic farm and talked to some of the workers there. They don't use chemicals at all but boy they must spend a fortune on cover. In some places they had huge pieces of plastic with weeper hoses underneath. They also had some big pieces of black landscaping cloth. I didn't ask if they used this over year to year or not though. I figure I will till and till all winter long. I really want to do this the right way and be successful at it.
 

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Went and visited a local organic farm and talked to some of the workers there. They don't use chemicals at all but boy they must spend a fortune on cover. In some places they had huge pieces of plastic with weeper hoses underneath. They also had some big pieces of black landscaping cloth. I didn't ask if they used this over year to year or not though. I figure I will till and till all winter long. I really want to do this the right way and be successful at it.
I do this on a very small scale with garden boxes and it works great. You get the occasional weed that manages to grow right at the base of a plant - but they're easy to pull/keep up with. The plastic seems to last about 2 seasons before it deteriorates.

You might see if they have leftover cutoffs from their operation that are too small for them to use but would work (i.e. overlapped) for your size plot.
 

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could you use clean straw.to put between the rows.thats what I,m doing next year.clean straw means no seeds or very few.it worked good this year for what straw I used.which was,t near enough.big garden.next years bigger yet.
 

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I organic garden guess I got it from my Grandfather that was a organic man back in the 1930's he knew J.I. Rodale personally.Weed control is a combination of things 1)get your soil in balance,heavy weed crops usually are the result of a mineral imbalance.2)Timing
some weeds will appear at a certain time of year don't plant then just keep disking them back into the soil.
On controlling them I plant my rows 6ft apart so I can get between the rows withmy garden tractors I first use a disk hiller to go very close to the new plants and pull the dirt and weeds away from the row.I go on both sides and if my rows are straight I have only about a two inch wide strip that I have to pull weeds or hoe out.As the plants get taller I either roto till between the rows or use the disk hillers to throw dirt back in toward the row with things like corn the dirt being thrown will cover up weeds like Morning Glories in the row.In the middle of the rows I til or use a small tandem disk for weed contol.Also I mulch a lot especially tomatos,Okra,peppers and the like for weed control and to keep mositure on the roots.I mow and collect clippings on a couple acres just for mulch in the garden.Mulching is work up front but the thats it for the season as far as weeds.
 

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just becareful when selling organic goods i know up here in canada its illigal to say and sell any thing is organic unless you are a certified organic farmer and if you are not certified and try to grow and sell "organic" and lable it organic you can be fined heavily and or jail time
 

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My brother has a small organic farm (1 acre), and he uses cover crops between some rows to over compete with weeds. Buckwheat is fast growing and effective for him.
 

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At the Farmer's Market I have a sign "No Pesticides." That is what most people care about. I use bagged fertilizer. I don't have time to start a large compost pile yet. With the price of fertilizer I'll have to make time pretty soon.
 

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I organic garden guess I got it from my Grandfather that was a organic man back in the 1930's he knew J.I. Rodale personally.Weed control is a combination of things 1)get your soil in balance,heavy weed crops usually are the result of a mineral imbalance.2)Timing
some weeds will appear at a certain time of year don't plant then just keep disking them back into the soil.
On controlling them I plant my rows 6ft apart so I can get between the rows withmy garden tractors I first use a disk hiller to go very close to the new plants and pull the dirt and weeds away from the row.I go on both sides and if my rows are straight I have only about a two inch wide strip that I have to pull weeds or hoe out.As the plants get taller I either roto till between the rows or use the disk hillers to throw dirt back in toward the row with things like corn the dirt being thrown will cover up weeds like Morning Glories in the row.In the middle of the rows I til or use a small tandem disk for weed contol.Also I mulch a lot especially tomatos,Okra,peppers and the like for weed control and to keep mositure on the roots.I mow and collect clippings on a couple acres just for mulch in the garden.Mulching is work up front but the thats it for the season as far as weeds.
Although this has no bearing on the subject I just have to tell that I went to school with and was friends with (in Emmaus, Pa.) Maria Rodale who is currently President and CEO of Rodale inc.
 

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another organic technique for keeping weeds down..."stale bed" gardening...it's based on the fact that there's billions of weed seeds in the soil, and every time you turn it over or disk, or even pull out weeds, you bring more to the surface, which grows more weeds...the idea is to till the area you are going to plant several weeks before you actually plant it...then, right before you plant, you use a large propane torch to kill all the weeds that grew...that way a lot fewer seeds will germinate new weeds...they will still come, nothing kills all weeds, but this method has helped me at least get a jump start on the weeds...it allows your baby veggies to get a head start with less competition for nutrients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry for being gone so long in this thread. Well we've been warm here since the last week in January, and my grass is thick and green and has been cut 3-4 times already.
The garden I have tilled 2-3 times since then and even though I haven't planted yet still to early the weeds seem to be down, usually by now they have started to grow especially with the warm weather we've had.
Thanks for all the advice and I'll be back. I really would like to use the plastic or cloth but it depends on the finances of course. LOL
 

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Mulch and Roto tilling keep my weeds out.

Usually i keep about 3 feet between rows so i can run the tiller through. After that just dump any kind of mulch on, we use hay and have no problems with weed seeds because the mulch keeps the weeds from growing.

Hay is free and grows everywhere so we harvest our own. Straw costs, so i don't bother, even though some say i will have less weed problems with it.

Soil is filled with weed seeds, what is the difference if you have 1 million or 2 million weed seeds?

We just mulch and till: The End.

Normally when i grow, i put a couple rows of plants growing close together and then a 3 foot tilling row. The Honda mini tiller looks nice and would like to try one of those out. The mini tiller probably are better for Urban growers. Out in the rural, space is not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well this summer came and is about to be gone. I swore to a weed free garden this year and did real good in the beginning. Until July 1st or so I was spending 4 hours per day hoeing with the thought that if the weeds don't grow this year less seeds next. Well I went on vacation for 2 weeks and when I left not one weed in either garden. None boy was I proud.
Then I came home, I was told it rained three straight days a few days after I left. Well the weeds were two to 3 feet tall. I tried pulling them since they were to high to hoe.
It was still an awesome harvest that could have been much better. Next year I will pay someone to hoe when I'm not here. My pepper, zucchini, tomato harvest was very good. I have a freezer full no doubt will last me until spring/summer next year. Beats were also the best ever, pickled many many jars.
 

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I am posting here because I like those who have done more then the sights that say do, OK I think.
I have been organic gardening for about 6 years now. An area about 50'x120' I want more, anyone who eats an organic zucchini or tomato or pepper knows what I mean, I can taste the difference. I am at the end with the weeds though, I'm tired of pulling then I turn it over early because they grow up four feet in as little as 1-2 weeks if I don't stay on top of them.
In the olden days before I knew any better would put enough weed killer to kill a human and use seeds from a local Ag. School and water the heck out of it and nice looking plants and veggies but no taste and I got afraid to eat them after a while honestly.
I really want to double or triple the size next year but I am tired of the weeds has anyone done a larger organic garden? Also you can make a small fortune just selling in the area I'm in.
You can till forever and still have dormant weed seeds that will sprout. I wouldn't waste money on fabric or plastic, ultimately, they'll end up in the landfill.

I've been mulching my garden with leaves (leaf mold), for years and have "very few" weeds! It was a great year here, but the garden is done! Usually, I manage to plant some fall crops, but I was too busy this year:banghead3

So, Within the next few weeks, I'll be testing the soil, and after making any necessary adjustments (ph for instance), i will lay down an inch or two of aged cow manure and till it and this summers weed shield under.

I "only" till in the fall, after the tilling is done, I let the garden settle. After a few weeks, I run back and forth with the discs and dress up the edges with a rake until somewhat level. I try to crown the center so there's no low spots to puddle and hold water.

Each year, in the fall I collect as many leaves as I can get my hands on. I get most of them from the town leaf dump and pick up a lot at curbside, using my 6x10' dump trailer. All in all, I usually collect the equivalent of 12-15 triaxle loads by winter. The leaves I collected last fall will give me a good 6" cover on my garden plot, putting it to bed for the winter. This falls leaves will be used in the 2013 garden.

I also have a "cow manure connection", where I try to grab at least 20 trailer loads. I stash it in the rear corner of my property,and turn it every few weeks until it completely breaks down. The leaves I don't even bother to turn, some break down into dark compost but many stay nearly whole

Anyhow, that 6" cover, after sitting for a year, then covering the garden for the winter, "only" settles down to about 3". Come spring, I lay out the rows, pull back the leaves and plant. After the plants take hold and start taking off, I gradually pull back the leaves around the bases until completely covered. Last check when I had my soil tested, I had over 7% organic matter content, a far cry from the dirt I had a few short years ago. The leaf mold, aged cow manure combo has bred millions of worms, which aerate the soil for me. The leaves are like walking on a carpet, and act like a weed shield all summer long.

Think spring NOW for 2013!
 
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