Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

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Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

Post by gonz » Tue, 07 Jun 2005 00:37:32



Greetings from Zone 5 in Iowa,

Am conducting a bit of an experiment wrt mulching and would like to
know if I'm going about it wrong or what..

I am using grass clippings, layered on in about 2-3 inches at a time,
and am now on the third layer.  Here's the problem: weeds are still
coming up through the mulch.

Am pretty sure - not 100% - that these weeds are NOT part of the grass
mulch, since there aren't weeds going to seed in my yard.  And the soil
environment under the mulch is, of course, ideal for germinating plants
of any kind.  So how much mulch is needed to prevent weeds from coming
up..?

I think the layers have compressed naturally to maybe 2 inches.  No
odors evident, the previous layers are a golden straw color.  So far if
the weed is big enough I just pull it, otherwise am putting more mulch
over the weeds.

I haven't read the Ruth Stout books, but have heard somewhere she used
TONS of mulch material to conquer (sp?) her weeds.  That's a LOT of
mulch, and sounds like more work than just regular weeding.  And of
course hoeing and mulching are mutually exclusive activities.

So anyone mulching have a recommendation of how much mulch is needed to
actually control weeds?  I've also heard that close planting will
reduce weeds, but my cold frame is planted pretty tightly and I still
have weeds coming through the crop "canopy".  Starting to seem like any
technique that promises weed control without hoeing is a bit of snake
oil to me..   Still digging through weed control posts in this
newsgroup, would like to hear from folks that are making it work for
them.

Thanks!

 
 
 

Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

Post by Katr » Tue, 07 Jun 2005 01:30:54



Quote:

> Greetings from Zone 5 in Iowa,

> Am conducting a bit of an experiment wrt mulching and would like to
> know if I'm going about it wrong or what..

> I am using grass clippings, layered on in about 2-3 inches at a time,
> and am now on the third layer.  Here's the problem: weeds are still
> coming up through the mulch.

> Am pretty sure - not 100% - that these weeds are NOT part of the grass
> mulch, since there aren't weeds going to seed in my yard.  And the soil
> environment under the mulch is, of course, ideal for germinating plants
> of any kind.  So how much mulch is needed to prevent weeds from coming
> up..?

> I think the layers have compressed naturally to maybe 2 inches.  No
> odors evident, the previous layers are a golden straw color.  So far if
> the weed is big enough I just pull it, otherwise am putting more mulch
> over the weeds.

> I haven't read the Ruth Stout books, but have heard somewhere she used
> TONS of mulch material to conquer (sp?) her weeds.  That's a LOT of
> mulch, and sounds like more work than just regular weeding.  And of
> course hoeing and mulching are mutually exclusive activities.

> So anyone mulching have a recommendation of how much mulch is needed to
> actually control weeds?  I've also heard that close planting will
> reduce weeds, but my cold frame is planted pretty tightly and I still
> have weeds coming through the crop "canopy".  Starting to seem like any
> technique that promises weed control without hoeing is a bit of snake
> oil to me..   Still digging through weed control posts in this
> newsgroup, would like to hear from folks that are making it work for
> them.

> Thanks!

Personally, I think it's the type rather than the thickness of the
mulch...

This is a bad time of year, most plants are boosted by soil and weather
conditions.

No amount of organic mulch is going to stop the bindweeds. I just have
to get off my lazy early morning tailfeathers and pull up the damn weeds
and make my chickens happy by tossing the weeds into the henyard.

Either that or use landscaping fabric which has density and color to
it's advantages.

There is a time and a place for organic control. Mid to late spring is
not it. ;-)

Just my 2 cents!
--
K.

Sprout the MungBean to reply

"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell?you
see, I have friends in both places." --Mark Twain

 
 
 

Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

Post by Sylvan Butle » Tue, 07 Jun 2005 02:21:36



Quote:
> I am using grass clippings, layered on in about 2-3 inches at a time,
> and am now on the third layer.  Here's the problem: weeds are still
> I think the layers have compressed naturally to maybe 2 inches.  No
> odors evident, the previous layers are a golden straw color.  So far if

Sounds like it hasn't matted down much or started decomposing.  Was it
green when you put it down or already dry and fluffy?

Quote:
> So anyone mulching have a recommendation of how much mulch is needed to
> actually control weeds?

It takes only two to three inches to prevent germination if you put them
down over clean ground.  But already growing weeds will easy push thru a
LOT of mulch.  Weight matters, as does matting down.  If your clippings
are fresh, less are needed.

To kill established grass/weeds, close mow, put down a a few sheets of
newspaper or paperboard or cardboard, put the grass clippings on top,
water well to matt things down.  If you think the newspaper will blow in
less than a gale, you don't have enough clippings.

If you don't want the paper, you will need huge piles of mulch and even
then some will keep poking thru.

Quote:
> technique that promises weed control without hoeing is a bit of snake
> oil to me..   Still digging through weed control posts in this
> newsgroup, would like to hear from folks that are making it work for

Works for me, and for my parents before me for many years.  Now my wife
is converted, but not yet her parents.

sdb

--
Wanted:  Omnibook 800 & accessories, cheap, working or not
sdbuse1 on mailhost bigfoot.com

 
 
 

Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

Post by gonz » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 23:30:10


Good to hear from you, thanks for the info.  I have started using the
newspaper layer technique in flower beds, and it does seem to do the
trick.  Will give it a shot in the edible Garden as well then.

Shouldn't be a big deal to lay down between rows, etc.

FWIW the grass has been put down both green and semi-dried, and it has
dried out on the beds as I mentioned.  No probs with odor, just those
pesky weeds :)  I laid the mulch down over ungerminated
(non-germinated?) soil, but of course it must be alive with weeds, and
so they are pushing right on up.  Will replace with that
semi-impermable layer and see how it goes.

Thanks again!

 
 
 

Mulching to control weeds; mulch thickness?

Post by Nicole » Sat, 11 Jun 2005 12:46:57


I use newspaper to mulch with..... lay down a thick layer of newspaper, then
top with grass clippings, leaves, whatever.  Nutsedge doesn't even grow thru
a good layer.  Eventually all will decompose and can be mixed into the soil.
Nicole in sunny CA

Quote:
> Greetings from Zone 5 in Iowa,

> Am conducting a bit of an experiment wrt mulching and would like to
> know if I'm going about it wrong or what..

> I am using grass clippings, layered on in about 2-3 inches at a time,
> and am now on the third layer.  Here's the problem: weeds are still
> coming up through the mulch.

> Am pretty sure - not 100% - that these weeds are NOT part of the grass
> mulch, since there aren't weeds going to seed in my yard.  And the soil
> environment under the mulch is, of course, ideal for germinating plants
> of any kind.  So how much mulch is needed to prevent weeds from coming
> up..?

> I think the layers have compressed naturally to maybe 2 inches.  No
> odors evident, the previous layers are a golden straw color.  So far if
> the weed is big enough I just pull it, otherwise am putting more mulch
> over the weeds.

> I haven't read the Ruth Stout books, but have heard somewhere she used
> TONS of mulch material to conquer (sp?) her weeds.  That's a LOT of
> mulch, and sounds like more work than just regular weeding.  And of
> course hoeing and mulching are mutually exclusive activities.

> So anyone mulching have a recommendation of how much mulch is needed to
> actually control weeds?  I've also heard that close planting will
> reduce weeds, but my cold frame is planted pretty tightly and I still
> have weeds coming through the crop "canopy".  Starting to seem like any
> technique that promises weed control without hoeing is a bit of snake
> oil to me..   Still digging through weed control posts in this
> newsgroup, would like to hear from folks that are making it work for
> them.

> Thanks!