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4 Best Secrets to Weed Proof Your Vegetable Garden

we’re gonna be talking about weed proofing your garden. Oh, here we go. Okay. So I’m really excited about this one because this is a topic that I get a lot. When I’m talking to other gardeners. There’s a lot to be said about weeds and controlling them. But you can also do things to prevent them from coming up. So let’s get oh, I hope you guys can’t hear my soldier upstairs yelling at each. If you can, this is what it really is like around here. So let’s just move on. They know they’re not supposed to come down here because I’m recording. But they don’t know how loud they’re being.

Okay, all right. We are talking about all the secrets to weed proofing your garden today. My name is Mindy young. I run formfit And I’m a master gardener, mentor and strategist. I’m really excited to be here today. And I hope that you gain a lot from this. First of all, I want to point out my pictures. The ones of me actually, were doing work. Because the only time you ever see me is behind a computer, I don’t really show a lot I’m going to be starting to show a lot. My main barrier is doing is working technology while I’m working outside. I haven’t figured out a great system for that yet. So that’s why I don’t really share a lot of what we do yet. But I am learning. I am learning the tech and I am learning to balance a tech with with showing you guys what we do and that we do implement what I talk about on our own operation. Okay, so you could see we’re mulching peppers and tomatoes, me and my girls. And then over here I’m anchoring the plastic and that’s I am going to talk about that I had a question come up earlier this last week. Last week it was so I’m going to be tackling that. So who the heck am I? Let’s start with that. Okay. Again, my name is Mindy young I hail from northeast Kansas. I’m a former extension agent, Master Gardener millennial farmer. I’m a strategist. I love strategizing with other gardeners and people who want to garden to try to make the most out of their garden experience and have their own successful garden where they can get fresh veggies for themselves. Hey, I’m a mom of three kiddos, you saw two of them in the picture. And I am inspired to help others enjoy growing and managing their successful gardens. And here’s the deal, my friend. Gardening can be hard. We know this. I know this. I’ve been gardening my whole life. And there’s never a year where it’s easy. There’s always something there’s always a stressor that happens with the garden. It’s never always smooth sailing, okay. But what I have learned over the years, is that we need to focus on what we can control. All right, so we can’t control what’s gonna rain or not. We can’t control whether the weeds are going to not grow through the plastic or, or we’re not going to have squash bugs. We can’t control that. But we can choose to be prepared and use our best practices that we learn to drought proof or weed proof. Our guard our own gardens, okay, so we can work through those struggles. Be prepared and to work through them as they arise just by knowing what to do. So that is what I am striving to do with these master classes is to help you to be more prepared and set up systems to where you will be prepared and ready for anything okay, you want to stress over Can you just go right in and solve the problem with your own system? Alright, and keep this in mind too, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Hey, there’s more than one way to, to fix the problem that you’re dealing with. I’m going to give you options today, you might not like some of them. But I believe that everybody has a choice in what they do. So let’s talk about weed control and the difference and why it’s so important to control weeds in the garden. Because I know there are some people out there who, who want weeds in their garden, they say that weeds are friendly, they help the soil, they help keep the soil and pact intact, and they help keep the soil microbes and all the good things and the soil going. All right. Here’s the thing though, with wheats. The thing about the weeds is that they compete with your plants with your vegetable plants. And they take up a lot of the nutrients that your vegetables need to yield for you. Okay? So think of yourself, think of yourself when you’re trying to perform when you get up every day, and you do the work that you’re called to do every day. But you have somebody stealing and away all of your energy, maybe you have somebody that takes the food off your plate and eat some themselves. Maybe Maybe you have kids that once pieces of you all day long. And that just leaks your energy, okay, or maybe, maybe you have a drink in front of you large tall glass of water. And somebody just comes by and takes it takes and drinks half of it and you only get half of your water. What I’m trying to say is, is that that is what leads do to your vegetable garden. Okay, they compete with them. And that in turn, that in turn prevents the your vegetable plants from getting what they need. Okay, so let’s move on. Whether you want weeds in your garden or not, there are pros and consequences to having a weedy garden versus a weed free garden. Okay. So if you’re still with me, and you want that weed free garden, all right, here are some things that you can do is control those weeds. And luckily, I have options here that do not involve tilling. All right. So you could still have weeds in your garden that are that are growing, but you but they don’t involve you having to go out there and disturb the soil very much that that’s really what you’re into. Okay, so here’s some options that I have for preventing weeds in your garden. All right. Tillage, we have tillage that’s tilling, or pulling or holding. All right, there’s also mulching which is where you can lay down like straw, straw, wood chips, different things like that. Alright, cover crops is where you can plant a crop in between plantings. So say you have a planting of sweet corn or green beans. And you’ll get done with that. And so before you plant a new crop, and like the next season, you can plant something and in that spot that will hopefully bring the nutrient level back up. Okay. Now the last is chemicals and that is what some of you may not like, but for those out there who appreciate chemicals. As science based research based. There are organic chemicals out there for herbicide for for weeds, so you can look into those I’m not gonna go into a ton of options today. But I just want to know that you that they’re out there and they are options for you. Okay, here we go.

All right, so tillage, tillage. Um, if you choose this option for weed control, you want to till early before as those little weeds are popping up, you want to go ahead and and start tilling and between the rows like and so this is kind of if you have row, row up, I want to say row crop or row veggies, you want to have a space in between if you choose this for your tiller, or for your hoe, okay, if you’re, if you have weeds coming up like in the rows, I suggest just hand pulling, that is what helps me to not dig them up. That’s typically what I do is I just pull them by hand. But the main thing is to start early and often and this is why we scout we go out and start scouting for weeds as early as possible. And you want to try to tell often maybe once a week or so, if you’re getting rain, you want to tell more often than that, so to keep those rows clean, so that there’s no real competition in that. So I have heard of the argument that states that tilling ruins of soil and while I know that there are studies out there that say both my own experience is growing up my we always tilled the garden and we never saw a decrease in yield. Granted we rotated crops around but we never did see a decrease in yield and our garden spots. Okay, so just keep that in mind it is an option. If you feel in your heart not to use this then there are other options for you. Okay, let’s go on

Alright, so soaker hoses, soaker hoses. Good for areas where soil needs complete soaking and why I stuck this in here is because if you run your soaker hose along your rows and and keep them out of the middle aisles, you’ll have more chance of the the decrease in weed growth in between. Okay, so that would that is going to to create less need for tilling. Okay, if the Weeds don’t grow, you won’t need to tell us often. Or sometimes even at all, if it’s dry, the weeds won’t grow if they can’t get that those nutrients and water. Okay, so it’s not good for widely spaced plantings. So if you have like hills, because the weeds are gonna grow in between there. So if you have like rows of peas or green beans, though that is really good, even tomatoes, really good for soakers to go down your row, and that will allow for roots watering as well. Because as we mentioned last week with the drought management masterclass, it’s very important to simply water the root system at the at the base level, that is the best chance of the plants being as healthy as possible with watering. And I’m going to talk more about that when I have the disease master class and a couple of weeks. Okay. So output depends on available water pressure, of course. So again, I know I mentioned this last week. This was what soaker hoses look like they’re fairly inexpensive. They have tiny pores that seep the water out can be attached directly to water ffice faucet provides uniform watering and watering where you want it. Okay, so sprinklers, a water the whole dang garden when you also hadn’t done even the areas in between. And that is where the weeds wherever it gets watered. The weeds can grow hay because of the seeds get spread by birds or when and that so you’re going to have weeds in between where you don’t have any covering, and if it gets watered, those weeds are gonna grow anyway. So the less amount of water, you can put on that in between the rows, the better. All right. Okay, let’s talk mulching. All right, this is this is the system that I grew up with also. So we tilled, and we mulch. And we do keep in mind, we do a little of all of these, we have four acres of garden, mainly because it has just grown over time. And we started doing market gardening. So we have a lot of garden space. And so some we tell some we mulch, some we do a little chemical depending and, and all of that. So it really just depends on your area, and what you’re growing there. Alright, so mulching, mulching is really great conserve soil water, it controls the weed growth, it doesn’t really good job of doing that it keeps the soil temperature uniform, and reduces the frost damage if you have a late frost. Okay, another one is cover crops which we have also done. So here are just some examples of some covers, you got right, Clover soybeans, and other thing. Another one that we like, is field peas. It’s a legume. And its nitrogen fixing. So it’s really good to plan after something that leeches the nitrogen out, okay, as a second crop use as a second crop or fall gardens or late planted crops after the first crop. So I mentioned a crop of green beans, maybe planted cover and then planted another one. Okay. So, I mean, the possibilities are endless here. And there’s so much to learn. I’m even considering creating a cover crop course, or some sort of cover crop learning because there really is so much to learn. And there’s so many opportunities when it comes to covers, you can even graze the cover crops. For example, we did plant right over the winter. And then in the spring, we grazed our baby lambs on it, and they grazed it to the ground. And they liked it. So that is another way that you can use your covers. And they’re really good for the soil because it keeps something in the soil. During that time where you’re not, you don’t really need anything. Okay, and that builds a soil up those microbes up and keeps the moisture in as well. All right, these are just some photos of green be picking green beans that were planted after peas. So on the right we have our key crop that’s that we planted the peas would have been done. Yes, the peas. The p picture was May 14, so the peas would have been ready to pick the first part of June. Okay, so after, after the peas were done in June, we we filled it all up this dot all up and then we planted green beans. All right. And as you can see on the left, our green beans did very well. And we were picking those in September. A planet after Peace. Alright. So as you can see, pretty pretty good. I mean not much to say about this. If you just look at the picture on the right. And the picture on the left, you can see the green beans did pretty well after peace. So that is a possibility of something you could do. Alright, let’s talk herbicides real quick because I know that this isn’t always everybody’s favorite. Sweet corn is you can get Roundup Ready or you can get non it’s totally up to you. I really don’t want any any backlash on that because it’s still options. Still options. Grass killer. We do views on some things, mainly around the garden. You can spray a grass killer over certain crops while they’re small and I, we, I wrote want to stress while they’re small, okay, before they’re producing anything, you can spray a grass killer and it will kill the grass part. All right, so and that is an easy thing to do. And it will not affect your plants. And it will not affect any produce because you’re doing it. Before they even are even pretty even blooming before they’re even blooming. So that is an option that we actually use.

Also, you can put down a pre planting option, so you can put something down even before you plant, it’s called pre emerge. So praying is a good one trip plan. Lots of options, but definitely read your labels and use them exactly how they’re supposed to be used. And you won’t have any issues as long as you use them exactly how they’re supposed to be used. Because those labels they have been tested and tried and true. It’s important to know that these are options, I don’t have. Like I said there are options for organic herbicides, but I don’t have any names for you today. But know that there are available options out there. If you’re looking for organic options. Purina is one that we used, growing up quite a bit for weed control. Alright, now that we’re through that the four types of weed control, so we have cover crops, we have herbicides, we have mulch, and we have
filling. That’s it. All right. So notice, I didn’t really talk much about black plastic, but I did get some questions this week about black plastic, so I’m going to cover those here. Alright, so the first, I guess the first type of q&a, or the the first q&a question that I have, what type of mulches are there? Alright, so what type of mulch is? Well, the main type, the main thing that you want to keep in mind when it comes to mulches is you want to keep in mind that certain mulches could still sprout their own weeds, for example, some kind of some types of wheat straw, and still sprout and you can still get wheat out of them, if they if they have seeds in them. All right, so keep that in mind. But straw has always been a pretty good mulch for us. Any type of, of grass hay or even old hay has been really good mulch for us. There’s also black plastic, black plastic is better than clear plastic because of heats and temperature. And so use the black if you don’t want to kill everything. And that is I I’ve also considered wood chips. And we do use wood chips for mulch in our flowers. There’s all different kinds of woodchips, cedar chips, there’s wood shavings that you could use, basically anything that you can get thick enough to where weeds are not going to pop up through, okay? And just know that these are not like these are just made to help keep weeds down. It’s not a fix all so you’re still going to have to probably go out and pull a leader tail but just know that it is those all of these types of mulches, Wallwork. All right, here’s question number two. When you say black plastic, you cut an anchor strips, how many are and how do you anchor and then punch holes? Do you plant seedlings? So yes, the answer is that we don’t really cut strips but you can you can definitely cut them to make them to make however big of an area you want or small. You can definitely do that. And how we anchor is basically we take dirt or rocks and we just put it along the edge all the way down. And that it does a really good job of laying down the plastic It won’t fly off, you definitely don’t want to skip that step, especially after you plant your plant and because you will have your black plastic on a windy day will be will cover your plants and kill them. So you definitely don’t want to skip that anger step, you can also dig like a trench, and then stuff the black plastic in, and then cover it with something with dirt or something heavy enough to keep them in there. Okay.

And then do you punch holes or plant to plant seedlings? Yes, we have cut the plastic, we have cut, we’ve also burned the plastic. Which works also you can do that also. Either way, just whatever, whatever you want to use to make your holes will work. I think that there’s also a punch out there that you can get to make holes. But we don’t. I’ve never I’ve not looked into it. For sure I just saw somebody post about it a while back. But I think that there is a hole punch for plastic. So it might be something to look into. I’ve also seen a torch, which we’ve used just a regular blow blow torch that we have to make to make holes. So you can do that as well. Alright, question number three. For row produce, how do you run out? Do you run two strips of black plastic with a small gap in the middle to sow seeds. So for row produce, such as tomatoes, you can do it however you want, you can, what we typically do is we run, we run the plastic, I don’t know if you can hear my kids stomping around upstairs. So we run the plastic all the way down the row. And, and then typically, we will just run another plastic piece of plastic down or we will mulch. That way, we won’t have to control weeds in the image at all. However, if you are planning to plant something in between, which is perfectly fine. We have done we have done pumpkins or squash and the middle of like green beans, and it actually works really well they work really well together, you can definitely do that. So I’m just saying that it will work. However, however you want to do it. You just kind of have to go with your gut and test things. And if it doesn’t work, you can always just try something different next time. So just keep that in mind. And keep in mind how much work that you really want to do. As far as weeds, you got to think where are these weeds are going to come up? What are the potential? What is the potential for weeds coming up in this gap that I’m leaving? And is it going to be too much work? Okay. And, of course, you can always mulch in the middle use straw, or wood chips or whatever you want to use. Use those in the middle where you have everything else planted. Okay. And once it comes up, you can go ahead and mulch in there. So I hope that answers your question. And number four, is the plastic reusable, or do you have to throw it away at the end of the season. So it really depends on what kind of plastic you have. If, if you have like the heavier, thicker plastic that’s really good quality. We have reused them again, what we’ve just done is playing them all off. And then we flip them over and use the other side. So that is what we have done personally. So you can do that. But the cheaper plastic, the thinner plastic, we normally do throw that away at the end of the season, because it’s just not very good quality anymore. So it just probably won’t make it another season. So that is what we have done. So it really just depends on what type of questions you have or what type of plastic you have. Sorry, I have questions on the brain. So that is all the questions that I had. Preparation is the key to any successful garden season. All right, if if you’re not prepared, and this is what I’ve learned the hard way. When I wasn’t prepared for something that is where and we had quite a bit of trouble with any of the stressors that I’m going to talk about, because gardening in a drought, or weeds is not the only stress or gardener space, okay, there’s the time aspect of it. I know for me, as a mom with three kids, finding time to pull weeds in the garden is getting harder and harder with their summer activities.

All right, disease. plant diseases is a stressor, insects and pets, you know, squash bugs, as always, everybody stressor, wildlife deer that come up and eat your plants or bunnies, we used to have a big bunny problem that would eat all of our stuff. And then finally, the budget aspect, you know, we make money with our garden now, but we haven’t always and it costs money to put the garden in, it costs money, for seeds for, for weed control, for anything that you buy to put into your garden, you know, if you want to fencing or something, all of that costs money to in some way. So you want to make sure that you are prepared to face any of these that I have lined out for you. And I know that it can all be so overwhelming, to the point where you might feel like throwing the towel. I mean, I know for me, I have said in the past. Man, I think that maybe we just should quit the garden. It’s just Phil’s to like, do much. So but he talked me out of it. And we’re still doing it. Even though it is gardening is like my one of my favorite things to do in life. Sometimes, these things that I just talked about, can be so overwhelming.
And sometimes when they get out of control, it just feels like we can’t get back on track. So if you have felt like this, about anything, and you felt like down in the garden dumps, maybe you need a boost out of that, okay, maybe you need something that can help you get prepared, something to help you wake up and take action, help you know what to do, zap your overwhelm, identify problems, and create that garden that can support you and your family through any season.

So let me introduce you to my new program gardeners Spark, it is the boost, you need to gain confidence and energy to keep going with your garden. It has answers to all of your burning questions and problems you might be facing, that are holding you back. It has tricks to help you get out of your head and into your garden, as well as strategies to help you succeed and grow the garden of your dreams. You’re probably wondering, what do I get out of this? Come on, give me the details. Okay. So what I have is simple bite sized modules in the areas of overwhelm that I just mentioned. Okay, so weeds, droughts, budget time, all of the things that are holding us back from being prepared, and things like that achievable solutions to the different problems, identification methods. You can take this to the garden with you, it’ll be on your mobile, you can troubleshoot you, I’m gonna give you some troubleshooting questions to ask to help figure out these problems. And also, I’m gonna give you a peace of mind, knowing that you are not alone in this, alright? It’s really important to know, trust me. So if you are ready, you can say yes, I need this boost, you can click the link here, join by clicking here. And then make sure that you’ve saved your login information to where you could keep coming back in because it’s one of these programs is going to be one of these things where you can keep using year after year, I’m going to be adding more and more to it over time. So you definitely want to get in on those beta price because this is the cheapest it’s ever going to be. It’s going to go up and up and up and up more than I keep putting in. So with that said, you definitely want to get in today. So don’t miss out. You can click the link there or click it down below. So friend, I want to thank you for joining me today. I hope that this little masterclass on weed. Being prepared with weeds and weed proofing your garden is going to help you succeed. Help you beat prepared and succeed in your garden. All right. So I have here way other ways you can get a hold of me. Here is the course link down here. So I have my website, my shop, and then the core, the link to the course. So you can just copy and paste that into the browser. I’m also going to have it as link down below this video. You can find it there. I also have my social media, where you can find me on there and follow me on there. So friend, thank you so much for being here. I truly, truly hope that this was helpful to you.

I love it when it works. All right, friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. I can’t say that enough. I’m so glad that you’re here and I hope that you’re enjoying these master classes. And I hope that they’re helping you. If you ever need anything, you know where to find me. Please reach out. And as we’re going through this garden season, just know that you have a friend right here. Okay. So, friend, hone your dreams and your life and I’ll see you down the road. Bye