Saturday, March 20, 2010

I am so cheap-feed bag weed barriers

We try and reuse or recycle as much as we can around the homestead and one of the things we had not come up with a use for was until today was the goat,chicken and bunny feed bags. Doesn't it figure that something we have 7 of each and every month would have no other use?

The other day we saw something on a video and it made the manthing think. No worries he said it didn't hurt. I do not remember what it was we saw but what ever it was that spurred his moment of genius hopefully has just made our gardening life much easier.

Each feed bag has three layers. Two of them are plain brown paper and one is plastic lined. The plastic one is between the two other layers but nothing connects any of them so all you need to do is separate them in order to use. A cut along the bottom seam to remove it and a slice down the side and SHAZZAM! Two approximately 3x2 foot weed barriers and one easy to roll up and dispose of piece of waste.

The front hill has in the past had issues with water flowing and erosion in heavy rains even before it was gardened. We decided to till it up and begin gardening in this area the year before last. Last year we decided to go with a contoured strip type garden on the hill in order to stop the erosion yet be able to use this wide open space to grow some decent crops. Basically what we are working for is many raised flat beds with grasses in between and on the sides to keep the soil where we want it. Between trying to contour it and still being a fairly young bed, weeds have been a huge issue.

Today by using the feed bag weed barriers hopefully we can ease our work load and help us in reaching our eventual goals for that bed. It cost us nothing but 3 minutes of time to make and covers 6 sq foot per bag. At 7 bags a month that is 1008 square foot of garden space I can have a free weed barrier for. It takes just a few minutes extra to put down when planting but will save us untold amounts of time and frustration. It won't just help with this crop of veggies but hopefully forever more or at least as long as I need to supplement critters with store bought feed.

Here are the cabbage plants that went in  and the carrot strips that we tried this afternoon. It looks a little bit ugly right now but we figure with a rain the soil holding the barrier down will settle off to the sides of the raised area and the weeds should not be able to get through. For the cabbage we cut an X in the paper, planted and then  put a dusting of soil round the base of the plant to hold our cut edges in place. For the carrots Ii made a half inch strip cut out  every 6 inches across the bed. I have never used any weed barriers but leaves in the past so this should be a neat experiment although we don't see how or why it wouldn't work  splendorifically.

1 comment:

  1. Has it worked? A good idea waste not want not!! I have used card board boxes and old recycled black trash bags that had stored cans for recycle center. Post some pictures, really would like to see them. Ellen from Georgia