Something that got to me the other day and wanted to share.
I'm quite overweight and live in a place that get lots of extreme heat in the summer and I love to garden, so it is my habit to plant and tend a wonderful garden until the triple digits get here, then I tend to neglect my garden, because I just can't handle the heat. This year I swore it would be different. My plan was to push myself even when it was hot, to force myself to be more tolerant of the heat, to use cool wet rags and drink ice water ect. My strategy did pay off I was able to work outside all summer long. Don't get me wrong when it's a 105 out you stay in the house, but even on those days I might go out and water ect. the hour before dark, but I made a lot of progress. But (is it just me, or does life always throw a but in there) I discovered hugelkultur and had to build one, well technically two because I wanted to do a little experiment on wood type. Then I got a bunch of wood chips, so I have been using them to make weed free paths and many other things too. So my garden looks like crap! I was looking at it the other day so irritated at myself. Oh I didn't complacently neglect it, but it only got the most basic care. Now it is overgrown, weeds and mint in every path(I haven't gotten wood chips in there yet) the flowers have taken over the veggies are done. I look at that and see neglect, and a ton of work that needs to be done. I'm very angry with myself at this point.
A day or so later my daughter are talking about the pumpkins that are growing on my new hugel and the only veggie doing good right now, and then she said she loves my garden. That stopped my cold, I asked what she meant, and she said she just loves the way it's wild and free. Maybe it's a mom thing, but it made me feel so good! She didn't see a lazy gardener who didn't do enough, she sees life and nature at work.
I won't leave it this way, I will yank weed and put wood chips in the paths, and I need to get the summer veggies out so I can get the fall/winter veggies started, but her simple comment changed my prospective, and I feel a lot better about my wild weed garden.
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 4 months ago
oh, Jen, I wish you could see my 'weed patch' !!!
I have good intentions until the heat sets in and then everything has to get done at once early morning or it just does not happen.
I think end of the summer gardens are always looking pretty rough and wild I love that your daughter appreciated it.
Some things I leave deliberately in case they are hosting some of the garden insects for next season.....others are just what happens, like the bermuda grass that I'm trying to find away to live with.
My scythe has helped immensely as the best time to cut with it is early morning while the dew is on and with the shorter ditch blade I can cut around plants and trees more easily. Even then I do not catch up...just am reconciled to the fact that there is always a 'to do' list.....
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 4 months ago
The story that I tell myself, is that weeds are a self-regenerating, locally-adapted, multi-species cover crop. That they are next year's soil fertility. And that as a plant breeder, I want to be selecting for plants that can out-compete the weeds.
Generations of farmers in my wife's family, in the Philippines have strived to have nice bare soil between their plants. So she was quite dismayed when we planted a little garden and I let everything grow amongst our ground cover edibles. Sometimes I came in with big scissors and lifted The vines we are keeping and just snipped the weeds off a couple inches above the ground. It doesn't kill them.
So the leafy vines that we eat, rest on a mat of short weeds instead of on hot soil.
Neighbors throw away their weeds in the upscale subdivision. So, I started collecting them and placing them between our plants.