Back in 2008, in my very first garden blog post, I said that I hated weeding. And that was true for a lot of years. Weeding is not easy on the body, for all the tools available, it requires hard work on the part of your back, shoulders, elbows, hands, knees…. usually all of the above. It’s also often tedious, depending on your level of patience.
I’m older now, probably not much wiser, but I have learned a lot of patience through my late 20s, 30s, and into my 40s, and I’ve been working as a part time department manager and stocker at a local grocery store for the last 16 months. Out of all the work I’ve done in my life, stocking has been harder on me than all of it! But, when you’re used to stocking and then get back into the garden to attack the weeds (and oats that aren’t supposed to be there….), one finds that it’s really quite easy. And far more entertaining than putting can after can after can on a shelf. All the bending, squatting, lifting, twisting, kneeling done while weeding? Especially on a “soft” piece of cardboard in dirt, it feels downright wonderful compared to a hard tile floor while carrying cases of canned food!
The oats are getting out of control and with both another heat warning coming, and possible rain (I don’t believe that part), I knew I better get a jump on controlling them before I literally did have a Hay Garden.
So yesterday after work, I took out all the cardboard that I’d placed around the cabbages, under straw, for weed control – 2 cabbages drowned because the cardboard was too close to them (I also got my first up close view of root maggots and GROSS!). I cleaned up around the cabbages, potatoes, and my 2 little bell pepper plants that are all that sprouted, out of 12 seeds planted.
Today, I attacked the corn. I couldn’t actually tell how many corn stalks I had through all the oats, as you can see in the top left, above. Turns out, out of 2 packets of seed, planted into 8 rows about 7′ long, I got a whopping 25 stalks, all spread out, and all at different stages of development. Curious! I’ve said before, this is all really just a test, since I wasn’t even sure I’d get my in ground garden this year and amendments and manure were thrown on and quickly mixed in with the tractor and disc. There’s areas that have less good stuff, and areas that are all the good dirt, so got next year, we’ll know where we need to work on, and I’ll also have a rototiller to do fine tuning and make nice rows.
The “grassy” (oat) area still in view, below, is the pumpkin patch and I’ll be working on that tonight and transplanting the 2 plants that weren’t ready when I put out their brothers (or sisters?) previously. The pumpkins are doing great, while the 6 squash are going ok, but are getting attacked by bugs. So they’ll be getting a dusting of diatomaceous earth soon.
How are your gardens growing?