Archives for posts with tag: Weeds

There’s a lot left to dig (turn over) for the winter. 

And inspite of the snow, I’m still at it. 



I’ll probably be at it until Christmas or even after, if the weather stays conducive. 

However, if I have to leave one crop circle (next years pumpkin patch) undug, that’s allright too. After 10 years of working this heavy clay soil, it’s getting some very good tilth, and the rooty weeds seem to be pretty much under control – my main objectives with the digging – besides the great physical wookout. 

More getting ready. 

The Tipi looks majestic. 


The weeding is never done, but I’m always trying. 


We finaly got the roof on the new shed. It took a team of six to figure out the angles etc. 


The food tent is up. 


And still there’s lots more to do before the big garden party tomorrow. 

It looks like the weather will be great. 

It’s nice to be home again. The garden looks good. 


9 days of new growth. 



But I could complain, the weeds have been growing even more so, the rabbits and deer have been feasting too, and my hay fever is worse than ever after the period of relief up north. 

But why complain!

Before 

After 

It doesn’t take much time for the weeds to get going, and they can soon take over the garden. Here it is mostly an invasive kind of poppy that I don’t dislike, but I have to keep it under control along with the rest of the weeds. 

It looks pretty desolate after weeding. The seeds have hardly germinated, and I do do a thorough job – microweeding. Most organic or eco gardeners allow for weeds because they don’t like monoculture or bare earth, but I have to have the weed situation under control before leaving the garden for a week and a half for our annual trip go the far north. And, although I don’t care much for minimalism, I like it when it comes to weeding. 

Mulch gets piled on as I weed or as soon as possible, and I  leave a few poppies and other nice weeds like cilantro for color and food. 

Now that all is sown and planted in the garden it’s time for maintanance – watering, weeding and mulching and starting to harvest the early stuff like spinach and radishes.

Weeding cockleburs.

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This corner of the garden was dug up for a sewage system update. There is more work to do on it, so it remains an open sore and thus has a major weed problem. There are thistles, crabgrass and lots of other difficult weeds including cocklebur, also known as burdock.

The tender part of the root is edible, and in Japan it is grown as a delicacy known as gobo. But there are a few too many in a place that is hard digging, so they are chopped off and sent to the place for dangerous weeds before they go to seed.

I will be glad when it’s done and landscaped, so that I can maintain it with the lawn mower.

It’s warm, windy, the sun is shining almost all night and there is a promise of a little rain for this evening. Perfect for the Summer Solstice Celebration.

A picture from last year.


I always try to get all four crop circles filled out by solstice, and this year I succeeded. Yesterday I planted out all the remaining plants and seeds, leaving a couple of beds empty for a later crop of lettuces. Most of the first weeding is done too. Last year I was later by more than a week.

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Now I can feel relaxed for a couple days of partying.

The weeds grow dispite the dry weather. Now with a little rain they will virtually explode into existence and soon take over the garden.

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The spinach is growing fine too, but the pigweed (Chenopodium album) looked so luscious, that I got busy and did some micro weeding and saved the pigweed for lunch – one of my favorite weeds.

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It makes a wonderful omelette.

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As soon as I harvest in the fall I start digging for the winter. I turn over the soil one spade deep in all the gardens except where there are perennials. It is necessary to expose the clay soil to the frost of winter which breaks down the clayey structure leaving the dirt very plyable and easy to till in the spring when it dries out.

It also makes weed control easier, and control of such plants as raspberries which have the tendency to spread by root shoots.

After all the rain it is a heavy job, but easier when a thin layer of frost makes the clay less sticky. I’m often not done until Christmas.

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Stone Buddha contemplating Lacy phacelia.

I sow Lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) and other green manure plants whenever I have some empty spaces at the end of the spring season. It’s an excellent cover crop aiding in weed control.

But not only that, it has a long flowering period with blossums rich in nectar attracting bees, butterflies and other insects facilitating pollination. It is also important in biological pest control by attracting hoverflies which eat aphids and other pests.

Nice to contemplate too.

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By the way – Happy Autumn Equinox!

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We have a lot of grass that gets cut nearly once a week. I should use more of the grass clippings as mulch. Tests have shown that mulching grass clippings is one of the absolute best ways to fertilize a vegetable garden. The problem is that the mower minces the grass so much that it sinks into the cut grass and fertilizes it. This is good too, however, sometimes the mower leaves strings of clippings which, if I have time, I could rake up and use as mulch. Usually I don’t have time, but this time I did.

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I never seem to get enough either. Sometimes my arms and back give out, and there are many other distractions to keep me from doing it. This time I did get enough to cover the ground under all the maize plants.

Mulching is good for fertilizing, keeping the weeds under controll and nice to cover the pathways with for easy walking when the clay is wet. It protects the ground from drying out in hot spells and feeds the earth worms too.

I never take grass clippings in the spring when they are needed most, because that’s when the dandelions are in bloom producing a myriad of seeds. I have enough trouble with them already. Instead I get bales of straw to at least cover the pathways. My favorit mulch is flax straw because it breaks down more slowly and doesn’t get soggy in wet periods. It’s hard to get tho.