field growing weed control?

biglou13

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i want to grow more "field grown" aka back yard/garden. however i find my on going war with weeds a loosing battle. As the trees get fed well so do the weeds, shading out lower branches on JBP. i layed down some weed cloth for air potted plants, but still fighting with weeds in air pots. how do you cut down on weeds. i only have 30 ish trees how do the bigger operations manage? im thinking of truly field growing more trees, but looking for weed solution. please advise.
 

Dav4

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The best way to deal with weeds in a garden is to get rid of them before you plant. Apply a herbicide with glyophosphate (roundup) first to kill the weeds in the area you to plant want in. You may have to repeat the herbicide treatment a week later. Once the weeds are gone, you can plant your trees, being sure to apply a thick layer of mulch, 2-3", completely covering the garden area right up to, but not touching the trunk. Some folks will add a 10-15 sheet layer of news print under the mulch to act as a barrier. Edging the perimeter of the mulched are will help prevent new weeds from moving in. Finally, ever time you pull weeds up in your garden, you are bringing new weed seeds up to the surface where they will germinate. It's probably better, once you have a good mulch layer in place, to spot use the herbicide to deal with new weeds. Either careful application with a sprayer or directly with a brush will work. Good luck,

Dave
 

jk_lewis

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And then, there's the good ol' hoe -- and elbow grease.

You will be MUCH healthier for it.
 

fore

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So the roundup won't kill the trees after planting them after the treatment?
 

FrankP999

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So the roundup won't kill the trees after planting them after the treatment?
Once Roundup has hit the dirt, it is inactive in the soil. I have read that even a small coating of soil/dust on the weeds will lower its effectiveness - and that spraying after a rain will solve that.
 

JudyB

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You'll have to be super careful of drift if you go the roundup route. ANY drift onto the leaves will kill the tree. Make a cone out of cardboard to place around the tree if possible to keep the spray away. Better yet - do the newspaper thing instead. I use shredded newspaper as a mulch in my garden and it keeps the weeds down, and the soil where I use it is in such good shape, since worms really dig the newspaper, they keep it aerated, and fertilize it with worm poo. Good all around, and no nasty chemicals into the environment.
 

fore

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That's surprising to me Frank, but good very good to know. I thought the stuff was more systemic. That's what I get for not reading the fine print ;)
 

jk_lewis

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Roundup works on the growing green leaves. No green . . . very little effect. But do be concerned with drift! I'd suggest newspapers over all trees withing 10 feet if there is ANY breeze.
 

Eric Schrader

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Keep the weeds down using professional landscape fabric - not that thin stuff but the woven stuff that doesn't allow any light through. That with or without mulch will control the weeds and you wont have to worry about killing your trees with poisons. Lay it down tight and pin the edges with a 1 foot overlap....cut as small a hole around the tree as you can to minimize weeding and use mulch at the base.

For your air pots you can cut a square of landscape fabric to cover the surface - but it's not perfect in a pot because there is so much edge to it, both around the trunk and around the edge. Keep out the light and you'll keep out the weeds.

A six-inch layer of mulch will also keep down most weeds. Around the base of the tree taper it down so the bark doesn't rot. You'll still have to weed but it will be minimal.
 
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If you look at Shikoku's pine growing fields, it seems that they go for the chimic way.
Using mulch has also the benefit to improve greatly soil structure as JudyB wrote.
 
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Another solution I personally use is a layer of pea-gravel, but the fabric and mulch will work... Just be carefull that what ever you use that you don't over water... since moisture will be held in the soil longer with any of these. On the plus side, once established, you don't have to water as much. I often throw a layer of the pea-gravel in my pots as well, which helps with the weeds in there as well, obviously don't take your plants to a show with the gravel.
 

biglou13

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landscape fabric it is.

im going to wait till weeds dead this winter to set up.

i found the commercial stuff locally. along with pins

how do you cut holes neatly for putting in trees.

im assuming you patch around trunk with same landscape fabric.

i'd like to see pics of your "field's"/in ground grow areas. please.
 

JasonG

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Weedeater......and roundup. Just make sure you don't spray a branch. THat is how a few large field growing operations that I know of do it.
 

Bill S

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As stated above they put in a piece of the landscape cloth, if they do it at all. They can be had in round shape to fit nursery cans. Don't know brands etc. just know someone that does it, it definately helps.
 

Eric Schrader

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landscape fabric it is.
how do you cut holes neatly for putting in trees.
im assuming you patch around trunk with same landscape fabric.
i'd like to see pics of your "field's"/in ground grow areas. please.

Actually - if you planted your trees in neat rows then you can just run the seam around the trunk and pin it in place without cutting. That said, you could cut it too.

I know that Jim Gremel uses this stuff and swears by it after years of trying every other thing he could think of. The problem with just mulch is that it degrades within a year or two. This stuff is supposed to last 25 years - although uncovered I'm guessing it won't last quite that long.
 
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biglou, when potting figure out where you want your plant to be and rather than cutting in a circle, cut an "X", with the center being where you want your trunk to be... fold back the pie shapes, plant your plant, fold back down the pie shapes.

Yeah, don't think it will last anywhere near 25 yrs... Uncovered, I have some falling appart within the year. Also, weeds still do manage to grow through, but you will like the change !!!
 
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krazykangaroo

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If you only grow arounf 30 or so plants, go to your local carpet layer place and ask for old carpet or underlay (only fibre underlay if they have any not foam). They will likely give it to you to save paying to get rid of it.
You can cut individual squares to put around the plants or lay it in strips between the trees. It lets air and water through but stops weeds. I have a few hundred trees in the ground and this works for me.
 
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Another option is to put down a pre-emergent herbicide after your initial burn-down. You gotta apply it early, though.
 

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