This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

garden work: weeds, weeds, weeds

Today I spent a couple hours working in my community garden plot. Where do all these weeds come from? I think I pull them and then I turn around and they have grown up again.

Weeding takes most of my garden time now, but I do other fun stuff too.

 (Someday I'll do a post on all the different ways to weed, and maybe even one on all the different types of weeds I grow in my gardens.)

Today's garden work (besides weeding):
- Remove salt marsh hay mulch from my garlic bed (I harvested the garlic last week) and put it on my recently planted seedlings (cabbage, Brussels spouts, and broccoli)
- Remove lower leaves from tomato plants and weed well around them to maximize air flow - in our damp and humid summer, the plants have a very large amount of early blight and leaf spot
- Harvest summer squash, cucumbers, dill, and cut flowers (tall blue ageratum and nigella)
- Plant a few winter radish seeds, watermelon and black radish - it may be too warm for these now but I'll find out
- Train butternut squash and cucumber vines up their trellises
- Begin to cut off and compost potato plants that are all mostly done (brown and dry) now
- Water
- Spray brassica plants (broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts) with spinosad (for cabbage worms).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

we use cardboard on our garden paths to kill the weeds

July 23, 2017 5:39 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Cardboard certainly works to prevent weeds. It's a preference thing, what you like to see in your garden.

In our community garden people used to line the paths with cardboard, old carpets, and plastic. The cardboard blew around, the carpets stayed in place, rotted, and was just nasty. But these do save weeding time. They can look better with woodchips or other mulch on top. And the crops are still great. Since the old times, we have forbidden the use of anything but grass or wood chips in paths between the plots. Within a plot anything goes. But most people use woodchips since we have a free source and they look nice. I don't see much cardboard in use except for a month or so to revive an abandoned plot.

I actually do like to weed my gardens. I didn't mean for my post to sound like if wasn't a pleasant task. I love the way it gets me down into the vegetables where I can't see what's going on underneath. When I weed, I find those cucumbers I missed, I hear the birds, the bees, i feel the humid air, and smell fragrance of dill, tomato, cilantro. Charley follows me for for a taste of anything. Especially a broccoli or kale leaf. A misshapen pepper, snow peas. I gave him one of my two first ripe tomatoes today- pretty little sun golds.

Of course gardeners want to reduce time required to grow vegetables. All sorts of mulches help- plastic, cardboard.hay, straw. Also using weed-free compost and minimizing weed seeds around the garden.

July 23, 2017 10:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are having a problem with rabbits
They like what we like

July 24, 2017 4:51 AM

Blogger JustGail said...

Do you remove the lower tomato leaves before they start showing blight? And how far up? I've only heard of pulling off leaves after they show problems. This year I have newspaper around the plants, so hopefully that will keep it at bay. At least for a while.

I didn't used to mind weeding, but the last few years spending almost all my vacation time and weekends on hands and knees pulling them out killed my garden mojo this year. Hoeing the weeds only slowed them down by a day or two. This year I have only a few tomato plants mulched with newspaper sheets, and held down on the edges by a bunch of car & truck floor mats. The more I think about it, I don't think it's the weeding, it's the not being able to tell you did it a few days later. Not unlike doing housework with kids, pets and spouse around to undo it all in minutes. OK - end of my whining on your time :-)

July 24, 2017 9:22 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Who can blame them!

If you don't want to share, you need a fence. 2 feet high is good. They don't dig, do just make sure it is well secured to the ground. The most important thing is to use fence grid small enough to exclude baby bunnies. Often people don't realize how small bunnies are. Use at least a standard poultry cloth spacing, 1 inch square.

July 24, 2017 9:27 PM

Blogger kathy said...


I remove the lower tomato leaves as they show fungal problems. Now the lower 12 inches of my tomato plants leaves are all removed. Some tomato plants in my community garden are near my weedy fence and dense lilac, so I've pruned and cleared these areas to increase airflow. I suppose proactive leaf removal would be good. But early light and leaf spot aren't terrible and are controllled by removing leaves and clearing the area to increase airflow.

I'm feeling really bad about your weeds. What a great (not) crop you have. You must have rich soil!! I'm glad the newspaper and mats do the trick for you.

July 24, 2017 10:52 PM


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