Monday, June 24, 2013

Turning the Tide on these Weeds

The weeds are running scared now. Even with their evil ally known as constant rain the tide has been turned on the battle and the end is finally in sight. Today marked a real turning point as I got enough rows covered with a thick layer of barn mulch that I can now get to any part of the garden. No longer can the pigweed and the crab grass or the imposter weed that looks like pigweed but has sharp thorns or even the corn look-a-like laugh at me from secure positions as I sink up to my knees in mud trying to get to them.

The days of them strangling out my muskmelons and cucumbers while I watch in frustrated impotence from the garden's edge is over. Even with the heavy support torrent of almost an inch and a half of rain we got yesterday afternoon the mulch held firm and I was able to continue my advance today as I delegated the yard mowing to the son.

OK the rider lawn mowing part anyway I still had to do the push mowing.

If the rains hold off tonight I should be able to finish all mulch hauling and finally get enough actual dried grass clippings to fill in the gaps between the plants I have now rescued from the strangling weeds.

Tomato sector is totally cleared and pacified. Small-Hold Bean sector is as well completely clear of all enemy weed activity. Central water depot was liberated today and over half of the Pumpkin and Melon gaps were also carpet bombed with a thick layer of mulch. The weeds were howling in pain as they were covered up with mulch or left with exposed roots to wither in the 96 degree heat.

Take that Weeds!!!!

Now for a little feeling of superiority at the expense of my neighbors I can look across my hayfield and pasture, up the slope in the back of their bean field and see they have once again completely abandoned their garden to the enemy weeds. This will mark the third year in a row they have given up on their garden. They tilled up a section almost as big as my garden for the first time three years ago with the same scenario playing out each year. Late June weed death. When these weeds have complete and frequent air superiority it is almost impossible to turn defeat into victory.

The keys to success for me have been raised beds that allow weeding no matter how much rain we get and as much natural decomposing mulch as you can lay your hands on. Honestly what you use for mulch does not matter one bit. Grass clippings, old hay, wood chips, it's all the same.

Afraid your going to get weed seeds? Bah I say!!! Like I don't already have plenty of weed seed sprouting up everywhere, a few bizillion more weed seeds are not going to matter one bit in this war.

The raised bed areas allow planting of early crops when you absolutely cannot count on having any ground dry enough to work up and standing water is a constant danger. The broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and peas go into 8'x4' raised beds. The real bonus to these beds are they keep you busy and lessen the urge to plant in the open areas too soon and the size of them is perfect because if the weeds do ever get out of control you just slap a piece of plywood over them and leave them covered for a month or more.

The plants that require a bit more space are the ones that go into the open tilled garden. The tomatoes, corn, beans, melons, and squash/zucchini. Eventually my plan is to have enough raised beds that all of the above mentioned except tomatoes and corn will have raised beds. Event he pole beans as my trellis set up is sized just perfectly to go over a standard 8'x4' raised bed. But at an average cost of $60.00 per raised bed the build up is a slow.

Eventually I plan on only open planting the tomatoes and maybe the punkins/melons while having the lower section enclosed with railroad ties and using the Eden method for corn planting. This should be a section about right to make constant wood chip replacement within my realm of feasibility. Or so I think. Corn is also a pain to mulch around and keep weeded as it has such shallow roots.

Now that Mrs. PP has declared her raised bed section as finally meeting overall size approval and the weeding of the main garden should be coming to a close I can finish the first row of garden raised beds. All the materials are in place and the plywood has been down for months killing the grass underneath it has just been a matter of priorities up to this point.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!




10 comments:

  1. You fought and won!! Those darn weeds can sure enough rear their ugly heads and act like they have an IQ. Way to go!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't won yet young Padwan but the tide has turned and the effort doesn't look over whelming like it did last week :)

      Delete
  2. Congrats on winning the weed battle in the overall war on survival. Why can't the tomatoes go into a raised bed ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob - The tomatoes need a huge space, or mine do anyway. I trellis mine with fence posts and clothes line tying up the stems like you would a grape vine. In my normal 8x4 raised beds I could only fit maybe 2 tomato plants it would be too expensive since I usually plant 50 or more plants each year.

      Delete
  3. congrats on winning the war buddy! sorry. can't type. too busy eating my morning trouts - bahahahahah! you seriously need to plan for a trip up here. jam will take you fishing ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY. DAY.

    your friend,
    kymber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kymber - I would LOVE to come up with the Mrs. and go fishing but right now I am spending every spare dime I have on getting this place ready. I have always loved Canada, to visit anyway it's too cold most of the time for me :)

      Yet I just cannot justify any non-sustainable spending right now. Things are just way too iffy for me at the moment. Now had Obummer not been re-elected I could see a little breathing space.

      If we are wrong and things improve you can count on the Mrs. and I making a trip. I never turn down trout fishing if I can help it.

      Delete
    2. buddy - you know that you and the Mrs. are always welcome. but i agree - with things being so iffy for the next few months - we got to just work on building up our preps. when bill cosby gets elected as president - we know we will have some time on our hands. mark down the date, my friend, i have called it that bill cosby will soon be president. now back to my trouts...

      (p.s. - i love the crispy tails the best!)

      your friend,
      kymber

      Delete
  4. I have seen many many many weed gardens. But three years in a row seems rather odd. I guess at least these last two (dry then wet) can be argued as weather induced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russ - Ya the rain gets them behind and then when the rains stop the real heat begins most people will not get out in it unless it's a life or death situation once they are that far behind.

      I see it over and over. Some lovely gardens get started but by the end of June they are hopelessly behind and discouraged.

      Delete
  5. PP,

    The weeds are finally coming to an end, YAY!!!!!

    I adore raised beds because of the access and ease of weeding. I'm trying to get hubby to help with completing some tilling for beans (not in raised beds).

    I'm having a problem with my tomato plants with the wind, I'm going to have to put up a wind break to make things a bit easier. The plants are growing very large but the wind is beating the heck out of them.

    Have you considered planting your corn in 5 gallon buckets? You can get these free from a local Sam's Club or Costco bakery and there food grade. Just wash out and drill holes. When you do this you can generally only plant 2-3 seeds in each bucket. The weeds can't seem to get in those darn buckets and you can line them up close to your home or out in a field, just a thought.

    One of these days, you and your sweet wife along with me and hubs should go up to Canada and do some fishing with Kymber and Jam.

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment. We like comments. Sometimes we have even been known to feed Trolls.