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Thread: Weed Control for Containers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Weed Control for Containers

    This seems to be a never ending problem for me, and there must be a better way. So, I have been in search for one, and this is one of many articles that I have found...

    The following article is by the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Agency, but I'm sure that most of it applies to all of you.

    Container Nursery Weed Control

    I hope it helps...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    bottom watering

    can reduce the amount of weeds in container growing.
    by not watering overhead the seeds wont get wet and germinate so readily.
    i have been looking into an ebb and flo system for bottom watering about a thousand shrubs at once.
    i know that sounds large and is but i need to reduce my labor ,"weeding and watering".
    a containment pond is in the near future.
    on a smaller scale they make benches for this reason.
    due to a recent pc virus all of my links are gone.
    sorry i have no links for the suppliers.
    shepp zone5/6

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    Another method

    is mulching the daylights out of surrounding areas.
    by this i mean areas where weeds are growing at large.
    by keeping areas mown and mulched the weedseeds have less of a chance of blowing into the growing area.i know some still can find there way into my pots.
    i started last year mulching heavily areas between coldframes and beyond withcardboard and tree trimming chips about 8 inches deep on top of the cardboard..
    so far a year later i have in my little spare time covered 3/4ths of what i want covered.
    and its working better than i thought.
    little weeding is needed in the first area done ( didnt have cardboard under the mulch.)
    no mowing or use of my weedeater is necessary.i am glad too.
    just thought i would pass that along for anyone that can get wood chips dumped on them and can compost them for a while.
    these have been cooking for a year and a 1/4 and are still way past the steaming hot stage.
    i would rather do this myself than sit on a lawnmower or run a weedeater.
    shepp zone 5/6
    ps , and it looks nice too!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    still another method

    shade cloth used as a barrier from weeds seeds riding on the wind.
    something less than 50% shading can reduce weedseeds blown in the growing areas by lawnmowers and the wind.
    another benifit from shade cloth.
    shepp zone5/6

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
    Posts
    94

    source for wood chips

    when I lived in Ohio (last year) I was able to get wood chips free from two tree care companies. Just called and asked if they needed a place to dump their chips. it is mixed wood and green when I got it. small companies more likely to need place than large companies. let set a year or two before mulching good plants. but could use it right away for use as you describe.

    shepp - love your weather reports and I will not rub it in by providing one from here. tomorrow I am going to pick up some shrubs from local nursery and plant them in yard. would have needed jack hammer to do that in Navarre, Ohio this time of year.

    later

    Jim Lang
    Santee-Cooper Region South Carolina
    zone 7/8
    Jim Lang

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Bottom watering

    Shepp and all--I have been looking at bottom watering for several years, and this spring I may actually get a couple of beds going.

    I will use capillary sandbeds, basically a wood frame surrounding a thick black plastic on which I pile several inches of sand. A septic pipe running down the centre of the sand bed feeds water in there, and the pots sit on top of the sand and pull water out of it from their (bottom) drain holes.

    Roots growing from the drain holes, and weeds growing on the sand surface, are the two drawbacks. I will not do acres of this to start, until I see how the little "pilot" projects work out.

    Around here, liverwort is a plague, but should be almost eliminated using this bottom watering. Like you said, Shepp, the potting mix surface stays dry, and weed seeds don't get started except when it rains...

    Another trick mentioned by a researcher I listened to...throw your slow release granules under the liner when you pot it up, don't sprinkle over the surface of the pot. They found just as good growth by this placement of the fert, or incorporating into the potting mix to start with, compared to the common method of sprinkling on the pot surface. I know I like to see that fert on the surface, coz I can see how much I have put on each plant, but it does feed the weeds germinating there. Why be nice to those little devils!

    Glen in BC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    Good points glenn

    The fertilizer tip is a good one .
    i do believe as i pot up this spring its going in the soil instead of on top.
    i have an experiment i will try for the pots that have been done to the 2 &3 gallon already.
    thanks glenn.

    shepp zone 5/6

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30
    Dave Adams, who recently retired as Extension Agent at Oregon State's N.W. Regional Ag Research Station in Aurora, developed and implemented a sand bed similar to what you describe. To keep roots from rooting in out of the bottom holes of the pots, and to keep weed seed from germinating, lay woven nursery ground cloth on top of the sand. I imagine that a heavy woven shade cloth would work as well, and might be less expensive. Then take the cheapest latex paint you can find, and mix copper sulfate into the paint. Spray a coating onto the ground cloth heavily enough that the roots will hit the copper and stop, but not so heavily that it seals the woven cloth from allowing water through. Handles both problems in one simple solution.

    Susan

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