I've been battling the weeds on my 15X20 urban community garden for the past 5 years and while i've had much success with the produce its always been a constant battle with the weeds that if left un attended will grow faster than my vegetables.Looking at neighboring plots i notice those that have successfully beaten the weeds spend several hours everyday on their plot weeding and turning soil,unfortunately i dont have that kind of time and recently have lost the ability to bend down along with other health issues that make the garden too much work for me to continue so i guess the weeds have won. however all is not lost,i've given up the garden plot in favor of 20 containers (plastic kitty litter containers)on my back balcony,much easier to maintain.
Heres a pic of the old garden notice how grass has retaken half of it..
For anyone faced with a plot of grass and weeds, a complet layer of cardboard or thick newspapers topped with a couple of inches of compost or manure will get the soil weed and grass free. It takes several months but is efficient. Then just regularly hoe between your veggie plants from then on.
The sky is purple and things are right every day
Your community garden plot looks a lot like mine. I have my own yard also, and some of it is turned over to vegetables, but I have a black walnut tree and those are hard on some types of plants- they make a type of herbicide which is lethal to tomato-family plants, cabbagey plants, and okra. (Squash, cucumbers, beans, lettuce, most herbs, and corn don't have a problem with walnuts, except maybe for shade.) I try to grow the sensitive plants in the community plot.
This year, I think I will beat the grass! It's a really tough type that forms big clumps with lots of roots, and if you try to just pull or cut it, it comes right back. But I'm doing something like 'IckenNoodleSoup suggests: burlap bags on top of the most aggressive clumps. I also periodically remove the burlap, dig the grass up, and put the burlap back. (Someone at work collects the old burlap bags from a local coffee company that would just throw out the bags their beans come in otherwise.)
Luckily, some of my weeds are edible: lamb's-quarters (a sort of wild spinach), garlic mustard, purslane, dandelion, and common mallow. But of course, you really have to be sure you know what you're eating. For example, a lot of weeds related to carrot and parsley (and which look a lot like them) can make you very sick, or even kill you.
I just wish crabgrass were edible. Actually, it is- for animals who like grass. My pet rabbits Hans and Franz helped me rid my yard of the stuff- although of course that made only a small portion of their food.
Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.