So as soon as a crop is finished, it's time to prepare and replant the bed. My standard bed size is six metres long by 800mm wide, with paths of 400mm between beds. The paths are generous to provide easy access to beds with a wheelbarrow, while the bed width allows a variety of sowing/planting options (one furrow for potatoes, two furrows for peas and beans, three furrows for carrots and spring onions, as well as salad, beet and allium seedlings; or two passes with the six-row seeder for 12 rows to a bed maximum).
The IF in that last sentence is the kicker, though. When the weeds are out-competing the vegetables, or are going to prolific seed, then they are a real problem, and I try to address them as soon as possible (not that this always happens!).
On the other hand, sometimes weeds do me a favour: they reduce water runoff, they provide matter for the compost, they can act as a ‘living mulch’, improving water retention and soil drainage, and in a few cases they have actually improved a crop. One example of this was my green garlic last year, which was well established before weeds took over the bed. The weed growth caused the garlic to climb to the light, providing me with much longer stems than I would have had otherwise.
Over the past year, I’ve been using bed replanting as my main method of weed control -- that is, I don’t worry too much about weeds growing when the crop is almost harvest ready. Then when the crop is finished I clear out both the crop residues and the weeds, then replant.
First I use my chipping hoe to chop out the weeds as shallowly as possible.