War on Weeds: Light Deprivation

October 10, 2009 § 3 Comments

Because our yard was pretty much overrun with weeds when we moved in, making my war on weeds more on an ongoing campaign. I fully expect to be waging this war as long we own this home (or any home with a yard, for that matter) but hopefully not on this scale.

The latest method I’m testing, on quite a grand scale, involves using cardboard and mulch as weed block on the terraces on my backyard.  It does what traditional weed barriers do and kills existing weeds and prevents new weeds from growing by blocking out light. I heard about this method from a lovely volunteer at the Gardens at Heather Farms . I did a little research and came across useful information on Re-Nest and DoItYourself.

I’d actually like to plant on these terraces . This makes cardboard and mulch a better option since they should breakdown over time. It probably would have been best to test this method out on a small patch of weeds, but a test run would take months.  I’m hoping to have the tops of my terrace mostly weed-free by spring so that I can actually plant something. So we just decided to tackle the whole project straight away.  We  laid out cardboard and then spread mulch across all the three main terraces.  Here’s what they look like now:

Mulched Terraces

Mulched Terraces

Fingers crossed that it works.  If it’s a gigantic failure, I’ll have a tough time convincing my husband to help out on future gardening projects.

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§ 3 Responses to War on Weeds: Light Deprivation

  • Nathan says:

    Assuming you don’t mind using chemicals as a one off:

    As a farmer, I would advise ‘Round Up’. Not the normal version you get from the high street, but the proper version you get from some builders merchants and country stores who sell direct to farmers. It is a lot more expensive, but it is amazing stuff and worth the extra!!! It is safe to use around animals and kids once it has dried and decomposes quickly making it safe for the environment.

    Depending on the types of weeds, there is another one I’d recommend that is called ‘Paraquat’. That works best on braod leafed weeds rather than things like thistles. But the Round Up is the best by far.

    You should then be able to re-plant again within a couple of weeks.

    There are two further alternatives, firstly, dig them out and burn them. Don’t compost if they have seeds as you will just be re-planting them again. The other one is to burn them. Use a weed burner and burn them till they are ash.

    The easiest and most fun way to dig them out if there are too many to do by hand is a mini digger. They cost about £100 a day, or £150-200 per day with a driver.

    Any problems, by all means get in touch.

    • sashaann says:

      Nathan, thank you for sharing your insight! While I don’t oppose the use of chemicals when necessary, I decided I didn’t want it be the first way that I approached the problem. Thankfully, all the tactics I’ve been using have thinned the weeds out considerably, so more drastic options can be reserved only for the most stubborn patches.

  • […] yard, and I’ve been working hard to turn it around (my war on weeds has been documented here and here and here again), but as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  And I suppose that […]

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