I have been blessed this year with a beautiful garden. I can’t take the credit, we’ve received an abundant amount of rain, lovely warm days and rich soil. All I’ve done is work the ground, plant the seeds and try to control the weeds!!
My peas are producing like crazy. The boys have been greatly enjoying the freedom to pick and eat whenever they please. I am putting some in the freezer, as we aren’t keeping up with just fresh eating. My beans and potatoes are blooming, as are my tomatoes. So lots of work is just around the corner. And I’m so thankful most of my weeding is done for the summer. I do need to go out and do some light weeding in the corn rows.
Mulch—My favorite gardening ‘tool’. I have seen lots of questions floating around about how to do it, and if it works. So I thought I’d share what I do and what I have found to work best for me.
Most years I have just used old hay. Some people find it ‘weedy’, or I should say, sprouts lots of weeds. But I’ve never had a problem with it. Now straw-I have gotten weeds from that!! And I was not impressed this year to say the least. My hubby gave me some wonderful yellow straw. It was finely chopped, so was very easy to use. BUT it sprouted LOTS of grass. Thankfully I had laid newspaper down first, so I would go out about once a week and just shuffle it around and loosen the roots that were attaching to the newspaper. And so far that has worked for me.
This year was also the first that I used grass a lot. And I really like it!!! It’s small and very easy to lay out. I like mulching soon after it’s been cut, so it’s still damp. Then it dampens the newspaper and holds it all in place better. Our large yard, is on top of the drain field of the septic system, so you can well imagine it grows grass like crazy!! We have a lawn sweeper that pulls behind the mower, so it works great for picking up the grass and hauling it to the garden. You do need to mulch thickly with grass, as it can backfire and grow LOTS of weeds for you.
As I mentioned, I lay newspaper down first. It is a great weed barrier. And works really great. It’s easy to use, just not on a windy day!!! I use 2-3 layers, then put the straw/hay/grass on top and you won’t have to pull any more weeds. (Hopefully)
Yes, that is weeds in the foreground. ( I didn’t say my garden was weed free.) It’s actually along the front edge of the garden, where we plan to put it back into yard. The black plastic, is another experiment for us. And it has worked out really good. Although I will plant things closer together. I put all my mellons, cucs, and squash out on it. Maybe it will all fill up yet, we’ll see. (It is left over plastic from the silage bags. See being married to a farmer has it’s benefits.)
The only places I don’t mulch are my corn. And that is what is needing some weeding right now. We plant corn for 2+ families, so there are 12 LONG rows and 5 short rows. Plus I planted 4 rows of popcorn. Yes, I was industrious this year. Maybe it’s because last summer I only planted 6 tomato plants. And this summer was ready for a real garden again. Although I didn’t miss the work last year. I had decided with having a newborn in May, my hands were full enough. And I don’t regret that.
So now you know what my summer will be full of…
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