Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Question For You Gardeners

When you have your gardening space on the flat ground, as opposed to in raised beds, how do you keep the surrounding grass (or in our case, weedy sod) from growing into the planting space and taking over?

I'm in the process of neatening up the edges of our flat ground planting areas (I swear the surrounding sod thrives and grows under the snow in the winter!), and I know I'll have to do it over and over several times this season if I want to keep the planting area from reverting back to nature.  Or sod.  Or lawn area.  Or whatever.


Here's one side of the blueberry/haskap berry patch that I haven't touched yet.  Granted, the whole patch needs to be weeded and a new mulch of peat moss spread, but you can see how the sod on the right of the patch is trying its mightiest to grow into that fertile soil that I want to keep free of weeds, quack grass and heavy sod.  It's worse at the far end that I didn't manage to get in the picture.


This is the west side of my strawberries which are planted in a section of the field garden.  I just finished tilling the edge with my Mantis tiller yesterday.  You can see some clumps of sod about half way down that I cut off the edge with the tiller, but if I don't go over them again soon or manually take them out, they'll root and start growing right there faster than greased lightning!


And this is a "new" plot we have been working on for the past two years.  Eventually, I'm pretty sure we'll start a new raspberry patch, one row of them right down the center of the strip.  (I'm totally tired of walking between three shorter rows trying to pick raspberries and feeling like I'm in the middle of the Amazon jungle, without a machete, and might not be able to fight my way back out.)  This year, I'm going to plant about two-thirds of our potatoes down the center of the strip to see if they might prefer this soil and grow to a bigger size than they have been in the field garden soil.  I edged this line yesterday.


Lastly, this is the edging I did around the asparagus patch nearly a week ago.  And it already needs to be done again.

Hoping many of you will share the way you handle this little gardening "problem" and give me some ideas as to how I might do it better.  Thanks in advance for any and all comments. 

16 comments:

gz said...

an edging of wood or paving bricks to edge. If you mow,just lower than the grass so you can mow over it

wisps of words said...

How to maintain edging!!!!!

If anyone has a cheap, easy, foolproof way, they should sell it!

Maintaining edging is $%(*&^^#$

GZ has a paving brick laid way, but it's wayyyyyyyy too much work for me. -pout- :-))))

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh, it is a constant battle between myself, the grass, the bindweed, and every other weed out there. I guess we just never took the time, energy, and money to properly edge our beds with plastic edging or brick. I would love brick edging, but mostly I would love raised vegetable beds and always look at yours with envy. Right now my strawberry beds are shameful! -Jenn

Goatldi said...

Hold that thought, er, question. I just this year have created an area in the "back yard" with a border. So I haven't gotten the border material, right now leaning towards simply cement bricks,in yet. But I do have plants galore in fact pictures coming soon. You must of read my mind.

The thing I found via Janet on the cattle ranch was this. White vinegar in my sprayer. I don't use chemicals and for me this little tidbit helps keep the greens that grow on the wrong side of the line in control. So far all that I have sprayed turns to the dark side and I can easily pull it up and toss it. No muss and most importantly to me no chemicals.

I think the best sign I have seen in awhile was the feed store I was in about a month ago. They had a product displayed called KillsAll. Under it was an editorial comment in big letters "just like Roundup kills everything".

Wendy said...

I live in the bulb-area. My father have made marathons (and still is at 87!) weeding with a hoe. You push it forwards and it has a blad with in the middle the pole. You have them in various widths. Dutch push hoe.

Wendy

Vera said...

You are starting to become my inspiration as to how I want our veg gardens to look, but meanwhile all I can do is keep the weeds cut down with my hoe then I leave them in situ to act as a mulch. As for edgings, I use my lawn edging implement which sort of does a straightish line. But, really, our smallholding is a mess this year!

SmartAlex said...

We have over 800 feet of grass edging in our landscape. We have brick edging - the clover grows over it in a mat. Paver edging - same thing unless it is several courses high and you can weedwhack it. Plastic Edging - who ever thought that would work, I mean c'mon... RR Tie edging. The RR ties are the only thing that work. Other than that I use the edging shovel. I even have to use the edging shovel along the brick and paver portions. So for several weekends each spring it's just me, a string line, and an edging shovel. They make a critter called an Edge Hog. I'm tempted to try one.

Rain said...

Interesting responses! I know I don't have as much knowledge, but I did clean up a few areas for my pumpkin patches. After I got rid of the grass and roots, I put an edging of stones that we had in the yard, and so far that seems to be working. Mind you, I do have to weed whack a few times each month to keep the grass from growing over the stones.

Susan said...

My organic farming inspiration, Marianne, uses white vinegar, too. It seems to work well. I just gird up for battle every time I head outside. I still think it's one of the Universes sadistic little tricks to make weeds last through any kind of weather and prosper, while we labor away with our little vegetables.

Chris said...

Hi, I found bricks were alright for a time now I have grass and weeds growing between them and right on the top. If you find a way to keep the weeds out of the beds let me know.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Chiming in late to the party but I have found in my *ahem* years of gardening experience that alot of hoeing helps but mulch. Plain old wood chip mulch keeps weeds and grass down. Good luck!

Goatldi said...

Some inspirational answers.Smart Alex we are most certainly in the same camp re: plastic edging. And expensive!

Anonymous said...

'Love the ideas that your fans are offering. I learn so much from them and from you! We have the same problem with clods of grass that end up growing faster than before. I saw a dear friend up here tackle her border problem by creating a chicken "moat". She built a fenced corridor of about 4 to 5 feet (??) wide and, at one end, placed a smaller coop within the "moat". The coop might have been movable, I cannot remember off hand. Anyway and as you know, chickens can really help turn up soil and bust up clods. My friend used the chicken moat to control her slug problem too! If her moat fence was a permanent structure, I still think that her brilliant idea could be modified, using an easily installed, portable, even electrified poultry fence--such as found in Premier 1 Supplies catalog (or online). Then, you can change your boundaries, do quick maintenance, re-till, etc.-M

Anonymous said...

'Just to clarify: my friend's chicken moat completely surrounded her garden area--although, I can envision her idea being used as a partial boundary, especially as a way of prepping a future growing space (like a stationary chicken tractor).-M

Mama Pea said...

Thank you, thank you to all of you for so generously taking the time to make your comments. Lots of food for thought here and I'll be mulling it over -- probably all this gardening season! -- as I don't seem to make changes or decisions quickly! Needless to say, I won't use any kind of poison or spray that will be harmful to our soil (or the food grown!), so the white vinegar spray may be one to try. Good old vinegar -- cures what ails ya. In your tummy or on your weeds!

I have discovered there is an edging attachment for the Mantis tiller, too. But with our uneven ground, I'm questioning how well it would work for me. As I say, I appreciated very much all your comments and information. Thanks again! Very much.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

We've used river stone, landscape timbers, brick or deep plastic edging strips.