How do I killing weeds and bamboo in my vegetable garden?

I have a sandy garden area. It is overrun with weeds and bamboo! I have been pulling weeds and cutting the bamboo but it doesn't seem to help. I'm hesitent to use chemicals because I want to use the area as a vegetable garden. What is the best, and safest way to kill the weeds and bamboo?
Submitted by yebbaesor

Hi,

 

Thanks for writing. For the bamboo, your best bet is probably to go with an herbicide such as Roundup. While it's by no means idea, it is one of the more effective products and typically breaks down in about a week or two.

 

If you want to go entirely organic, you can try solarizing the soil next spring by cutting all the bamboo/weeds to the ground, running a tiller or hoe over the area, and covering it with clear plastic. Secure the plastic down around all the edges so it won't catch in the wind and so it holds in heat. If you keep it in place from spring to midsummer or so, there should be enough heat that builds up under the plastic that it kills all the weed roots and many of the weed seeds, giving you a clean start.

 

---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHg.com

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I have a question; when reading the response BHG gave to the question regarding weed removal in an area to be used for vegetables you stated the "roundup" would breakl down in about two weeks. What does this mean? does it mean you can now plant flowers or vegetables and it won't kill them? is it now safe for pets to be around? Do I now need to ammend the soil for vegetables?
Submitted by pmuro