Mulch... mulch... mulch...
Weed an area, place several layers of the local newspaper, cover with chipped tree prunings you get for free from a tree service, the University or the city or all three - make the extra available to your gardeners for use in their own plots and show them this procedure.
I would issue a "citation" - give them 3 tries - one per week - that's not real heavy handed - but, remember Linda, it IS a COMMUNITY garden and if they aren't willing to be a part of the COMMUNITY, then they aren't part of the garden.
Also. For weed control in some areas, I have found the propane weed flamer to be really handy. It has it's drawbacks - i.e. once you start using it, every persistent weed will only germinate immediately next to a.) a valuable plant that is extremely sensitive to high temperatures, b.) a plastic drip line that is hidden just enough to be permanently damaged by the flamer before it is discovered or c.) in the midst of highly flammable plant debris that quickly builds towards Armageddon if you don't have a hose handy. I like to barbecue so this torch thingie has been wonderful for me - despite the charred remains of some rose bush cuttings that stand in mute reminder of my youthful exuberance and the hours of drip line repair I've had to undertake. (If it involves danger, I'll do it, which must explain why I have the sharpest pruners of anyone
I know.) I have a Horses Tail (Equisetum sp.) problem - anyone who plants such an invasive nuisance is a horses ass, but that's another essay. Anyway, against that and Convolvulus (aka Bindweed) and devil's grass, this weed flamer has been stellar and worth the entre $35 I spent on it. I am organic in every way I can be - and this torch thing - although approved for organic agriculture - uses fossil fuel and is there fore not really a good first choice, but for really persistant weeds that need to be repeatedly knocked down, it is a good alternative. Mulch, first and foremost, and stay current with your weeds.
David "looking for a small nuclear device to take on the bamboo" King
Linda Schroeder wrote:
> I am helping to coordinate a community garden project as an intern at Denver Botanic Gardens this year. I am interested in knowing of other community gardens that are part of a Botanic Garden. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.
> Also, I am wondering how to deal with the overwhelming weed problem we are having in the gardens. The administration of the Botanic Gardens has a high expectation of how the community gardens should look aesthetically, and I would love some suggestions of ways to encourage gardeners to keep their individual plots less weedy, as well as common areas and pathways in the garden. In past years, the coordinator would "red flag" individual's plots that were really out of control, and if the problem was not remedied within ten days, he or she would lose gardening priveleges for the following year. I don't like such an authoritarian system, but some of the plots and pathways are becoming a nuisance to other gardeners, especially due to all of the bindweed we have. It is an organic garden, and I would like ot avoid herbicides as well. Any ideas?
> Thank you,
> Linda Schroeder
> Community Gardens Intern
> Denver Botanic Gardens
> community_garden maillist - email@example.com
community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org