I keep running into problems.
After I rotary hoed the bed I waited a few weeks. Grass grew through so I painstakingly pulled it all out. Another week later and there is now a covering of little nettle plants sprouting. Nettle is abundant here, I sometimes juice it but I can't keep up with what grows.
How can I stop them from taking over???

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Hey Sarah :)

Weeds are good for you, for your soil, and for your intended crop, I reckon! Read below ...

As far as I know, weeds can't be stopped from growing, if the seeds are in the soil (unless the soil is heated/baked to destroy all the seeds - but heating/baking to this high a temp is not good because it also destroys the benefical microorganisms in the soil).

As far as I know, the best - but slower and more labour intensive - way is to remove the weeds as they come up, pull them out (roots & all). Or at least get out as much of the plant as you can (even if some root remains, it'll be a few weeks until that plant appears above ground again).

Having a multi-culture - rather than a mono-culture - of plants is generally better for each plant and for the soil - eg companion planting - but there are some plants that don't do well if together - you can find info about this if you research. So, having these "weeds" in your veggie garden patch can be (and is) a good thing for your intended crop and for your soil. Some of these "weeds" have very deep roots which bring up nutrients (minerals) from deep down the soil, so if you use these "weeds" as mulch, your soil will improve. Also the more plants there are (the more plants of various kinds, including "weeds"), the more (in different ways) your soil will be "conditioned" / enlivened by the plant roots permeating through the soil - which is good for the intended crop -- much like how it is in a natural forest - research forest gardening.

I have a similar problem in my small suburban garden, and I (like you) make use of the "weeds" - grass, nettle, dock, dandelion, puha, catsear, hawksbeard, cleavers (bidi-bid), chickweed - I juice / blend / eat (in salads) these "weeds" - which are more nutritious and more sustainable etc etc than the modern commercial/hybrid plants that most ppl intend to grow! True! :)

Steve.
Hi Steven!
Thanks so much for that.
I'll take your advice and just 'manage' the 'weeds'. Looks like I'll be bent over the garden bed for a while.
Also thanks for the dinner invite. I would've been so very keen to come along to the potluck dinner. Unfortunately tonight I have already confirmed other plans :( But please let me know of the next catchup (with a bit more notice ;) )
I didn't bring too much back from Japan. I bought myself a ceramic knife over there but thats on it's last legs. Also bought a spiraliser. At the moment I'm making do with the basics.
I haven't been all raw lately (and boy is my body beating me up for it!!) So I'm planning on getting back on track starting with a juicefeast. Haven't decided on a length just yet as I don't want to set myself up for a fall.
Great to hear from you again. Keep in touch
sarah


Steven Kung said:
Hey Sarah :)

Weeds are good for you, for your soil, and for your intended crop, I reckon! Read below ...

As far as I know, weeds can't be stopped from growing, if the seeds are in the soil (unless the soil is heated/baked to destroy all the seeds - but heating/baking to this high a temp is not good because it also destroys the benefical microorganisms in the soil).

As far as I know, the best - but slower and more labour intensive - way is to remove the weeds as they come up, pull them out (roots & all). Or at least get out as much of the plant as you can (even if some root remains, it'll be a few weeks until that plant appears above ground again).

Having a multi-culture - rather than a mono-culture - of plants is generally better for each plant and for the soil - eg companion planting - but there are some plants that don't do well if together - you can find info about this if you research. So, having these "weeds" in your veggie garden patch can be (and is) a good thing for your intended crop and for your soil. Some of these "weeds" have very deep roots which bring up nutrients (minerals) from deep down the soil, so if you use these "weeds" as mulch, your soil will improve. Also the more plants there are (the more plants of various kinds, including "weeds"), the more (in different ways) your soil will be "conditioned" / enlivened by the plant roots permeating through the soil - which is good for the intended crop -- much like how it is in a natural forest - research forest gardening.

I have a similar problem in my small suburban garden, and I (like you) make use of the "weeds" - grass, nettle, dock, dandelion, puha, catsear, hawksbeard, cleavers (bidi-bid), chickweed - I juice / blend / eat (in salads) these "weeds" - which are more nutritious and more sustainable etc etc than the modern commercial/hybrid plants that most ppl intend to grow! True! :)

Steve.
Hi Sarah,
I have found the best approach to weeds is to mulch and smother them after they germinate.its a bit tricky when planting seeds, you will inevitably get a flush of new weed seedlings any time you disturb the soil, but usually a bit of careful weeding two or three times is enough, then the seedlings you want will be big enough to mulch around. Nettle is a great ingredient in compost teas.I agree with Steven that the diversity of having a few weeds around is desirable, as long as they are kept under control.
Steven I have read a few of your posts about raw weed eating and I now look at them in a new way, my husband recently lost another front tooth and can't bite or chew well anymore, so i have been making some green smoothies for him, mainly with the self seeding kale and chickweed which are abundant in my garden at the moment, but must try the others, certainly cleavers and puha are about...but the dandelion was at its best for eating before it flowered...

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