Friday, June 6, 2014
Alright Weeds, This is War
See how nice, orderly and weed free this part of the garden looks? It's been weeded and mulched and the good stuff is growing pretty good now. I even have some baby squash already. The pole beans are starting to climb and the cucumbers are getting ready to kick into gear.
This is the lower half of the garden. The Sunflowers are starting to really spring up on the end rows too.
Then we have the upper part of the garden. The Melons are beginning their real growth spurts the Marigolds are blooming. It's about time to cover the actual row-hills now since the Melon plants are sprouted so I know where they are. Again a nice bed of mulch for the fruit to lay on while growing and suppress the weeds.
Then we have the middle section.....
OMG the weeds are taking over.
Yes this is how far I got before the rains started. I thought I could make it before it got out of hand but these latest storms came at the perfect time to give the weeds all the edge they needed.
I have three swarms currently residing in traps I need to re-locate and put in their actual hives before they build too much comb off the tops making it much harder overall. My cutting crew is NOT doing their job well, preferring to only eat the clover and ignoring all the tall Fescue, which is only getting taller because they won't eat it. The Small-Hold lawn needs mowing once again of course and by the looks of things I am going to need to start building bee hive stuff since it will take all my reserves to get these latest swarms hived up.
I don't have time for rain right now. Believe me I love the stuff and I am grateful it is finally coming down but I just do not have the luxury of letting it stop the work I need to get done. My tomatoes were almost choked out and the corn is barely peeking above the weeds too.
The storm that blew through last night left broken limbs and downed trees everywhere but it also picked up the stack of metal roofing I had been saving for another project down the road and scattered it across the hayfield.
I think it was a sign. There other day a reader recommended I try sheet metal mulching. Well I read up on it and really as I suspected it is nothing more than putting down sheet metal to block weed growth. Same thing I do to prepare the raised bed areas really. It doesn't add anything to the soil and it uses a resource I think would be much better suited for other projects but this time of year it might just save me enough time temporarily to get stuff done. Right now time is my most precious resource.
So maybe the mud makes my tiller useless but no longer will I allow the weeds to use my own soil against me. I put on my mud boots and went to work.
Here's the first row. Maybe I can't till the weeds in the center and pulling them would take forever but by golly I can weed eat those pesky things down and then slap a sheet of metal roofing over their roots. Just try and grow through that.... I dare ya.
I got both sides of this row finished this evening, the green you see laying down is where I stuck all the pulled weeds from around the plants to kinda act as a mulch until I can start bring wheel barrow loads out again tomorrow. The one thing bad about pulling weeds in the rain and mud is the little buggers don't wilt right away like they do in the sun light. I always liked watching the weeds wilt.
Of course I was covered in mud by the time the first row was done but I might just have enough time to save the rest of my garden this way while taking care of the swarms when I decide I need a break. I figure the sheet metal should save me at least one wheel barrow trip per row as well. Once I have some more time I can go back and pull em up and put real mulch down.
Part of the reason I mulch like I do is for soil amendment as well as weed suppression so the metal roofing is not ideal for my needs but it should help greatly in the crunch right now.
I even had time while resting my back to put the extra frames and feeder box on the newest hive this evening. Whenever you see a two box hive of mine with that black divider line you know it is actually a single brood chamber hive with a feeder box on top. Just part of my loose color identification scheme.
If everything pans out I am now up to 17 hives this year.
I guess when it dries enough to get the mower out I am going to try and mow the section the sheep are suppose to be eating again in the hopes they will like the forage better if it is shorter. Otherwise I am going to scrap the entire thing and send em back down to the Summer pasturage. It seems the sight of all that mowed clover just across the fence is proving too much for the three smallest ones and they are crawling under to get to it. I am also going to try and put another line down low in the area they been escaping from.
It's always something, but I am done letting mud slow me down. Done I say.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!