Serious weed control


I have been having a losing battle with cattails for the past couple years.  This was what was lurking under my snow peas after I pulled them out.  The problem with cattails is they do not emerge until the temperatures increase and given their broad root structure trying to remove them will most likely kill the plants (in this case peas) surrounding them.

If you attempt to pull cattails not only will you not kill them but this disturbance will actually encourage more growth.  There are a couple of techniques to stop these evils weeds, first is instead of pulling them cut them at the base, second it to shade them.  I decided to attack these weeds using both techniques.

Step 1: Chop weeds to their base.  I used some scissors to cut down all of the cattails at their base.


Step 2: Covered the weeds.  I used black plastic to smother the weeds.  Not only will this smother the weeds but also bake the soil to kill any bacteria/fungus (or any other weed seeds) to hopefully end up with a moderately sterile soil when I plant next year.


Not to waste any of my very limited space in my garden, I moved my peppers and one tomato plants to this location.


7 Responses to “Serious weed control”

  1. yan Says:

    Wow.. your peppers are already bigger than mine.

  2. Red Icculus Says:

    I like this method a lot for being environmentally friendly. Too many people tend to primarily wield a large bottle of roundup, which can cause burn for a couple of years after use.

  3. Tom Says:

    I’ve heard of using clear plastic to sterilize. It l ets light in to increase the temp, like a greenhouse. And it will make the seeds germinate.

    It sounds like your stuff is already sprouted though. I like how you are still using the space though.

    Sterilizing will also kill microorganisms, so it’s not harmless to the soil. But it’s way better then roundup!

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. You always have good ideas & advice.

  4. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Red Icculus, I have been tempted with the Round-Up given I have been fighting the cat tails for a couple years now.

    Tom, I agree clear is a good method to kill and weed seeds by causing them to sprout and then get fried. In my case these weeds are well established without seeds. That is also a good point about this method not being completely harmless, which is the reason I have not done this sooner. Along with microorganisms you also have worm friends which hopefully will move down a little during the heat wave or to a neighboring bed.

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