Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weeds are NOT our friends!

When you garden, you spend a LOT of your time battling the weeds. The battle is often fought at ground level, down on your knees, digging, pulling, and tossing those nasty things OUT of the garden. A lot of our time is also spent on the operational end of the hoe, scratching, pulling and then tossing those nasty things OUT of the garden. Sometimes we have to “pull out the big guns” and use the tiller.

By definition, a weed is just any unwanted plant. In practicality, the weeds tend to be the same type of plants over and over that appear as if by magic overnight in the vegetable beds. They are amazingly prolific, grow despite flood or drought, and require constant vigilance to assure they don't take over. If only we could some way to market these, we could make a fortune!

I saw the first signs the other day.

If not addressed with some speed, the weeds quickly overtake….and it looks like this.
There is an onion crop in there, honest!

After pulling the same type of plants out of the same plot of earth season after season, year after year, it does begin to get a little monotonous. Honestly, I can see why herbicides have become so popular. It would be nice to feel that you won the war. THERE, take THAT you weeds!

But, we don’t. We keep tilling, hoeing, pulling those weeds out. It gives a great sense of satisfaction to see a freshly weeded planting. The crop grows better, and we certainly feel better…the neatness allows us to feel we have some level of control.

Yesterday, we spent the better part of the day reclaiming the onion patch from the weeds. When the weeds are not pulled, they take the precious moisture and nutrients from the intended crop and you’re left with nothing to harvest. We know, we have had that happen. It is a sad and frustrating occurrence that we try to keep to a very bare minimum.

Today, our fingers feel slightly bruised, our muscles are more than slightly achy, and we are just a little tired. But, we won that battle! The onions stand in clean and straight rows, growing well and benefitting fully from the rain we received overnight. The chickens also enjoyed the buckets of weeds, bugs and dirt we dumped for them as we hauled them from the garden.

On to the hoophouses!

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