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Q.Crabgrass In Vegetable Garden

Zone Gordonsville TN | Anonymous added on June 11, 2023 | Answered

I had my garden covered all winter, removed cover in spring, tilled the area, than covered with sawdust and straw. About 2 weeks ago crabgrass appeared every where in the garden. I have been digging it up, but it is still growing thru the mulch. The mulch is around 3 to 4 inches deep, Around all plants and in between rows. What can I do to help remove and prevent this from occurring ? I placed the mulch as instructed, have kept every thing covered, It is even growing thru the weed block paper. Help! The garden is about 20 by 40 ft and in the sun all day.!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 13, 2023

One thing that will help in the future is till shallowly, if at all. Bringing up dormant seeds doesn't benefit anyone. Also, when preparing the bed, let it lie for a couple of weeks before planting. Give the weed seeds a chance to germinate. Hoeing them when they first emerge should kill them. Then plant and add the mulch.

When you see weeds later on, pull them as they sprout. If the weeds are large and near plants, you may want to hoe them to avoid disturbing the desired plants' roots. But then you will have to continue to hoe all season because they will grow back.

Since you have a lot of weeds, you may want to hoe just for time's sake. If your plants are spaced out well, you could apply a weed killer to the weeds but use a large piece of cardboard to shield your desirable plants to prevent drift. Some people "paint" the weed killer on but that seems too time consuming to me. Also read the label to make sure it is safe to use around edibles. You can use glyphosate about a week before you plant to kill existing weeds. Again, be sure to read and follow all label instructions before using any chemicals.

Boiling water will kill annual weeds, but you have to be careful not to get any on your desirable plants because it will kill them too. That method is especially good when weeds are isolated among hardscape elements.

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