Weeding

I feel like I have nothing to talk about.  I feel like all we’ve done for the last two weeks is weeding.  But it is that time of year, so I’ll roll with it…

My priority this weekend was taking care of this garden that has been overrun with mint.  I’ll take the blame for this.  When we first moved in, this little patch was nothing but purple violets.  I ripped those out and planted chives, mint, and basil.  It looked really nice that first year.  Then the mint took over.  It probably wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t had the bright idea to plant both spearmint and peppermint.  If that minty mess was a monoculture I’d probably be more ok with it, but since I can’t tell which mint is which I can’t really do anything with it.

A couple years after my initial planting I put down some plastic (see also: black garbage bags) with mulch over the top.  That controlled the mint for a few years until the mulch degraded and last year I pulled that all up.  I know pulling the mint isn’t getting rid of it – it’s got one heck of a root system going on – but right now it just needed to be wrangled.  And believe it or not, there are other plants growing in there!

My husband weeded, edged, and mulched the front garden.  You’ve seen this garden before… in this post.   He added some lilies from the garden that was under that cedar tree he took down last month.  We’re going to make that area into yard next year but this summer we’re gradually working on moving the few perennials that live there into the other gardens.  You’ll see the lilies all lined up in rows along the edges.  I was not consulted on their location prior to them being planted.

Since I wanted to try to talk about something other than weeding, I took my camera for a little walk to see if I could come across some inspiration.  My Roma tomatoes are looking nice and they’re starting to flower.

I replaced my lost Roma with a “Big Beef” from the local Amish greenhouse, and it’s growing its first little tomato.  When I bought the plant it already had flowers on it, so it would have felt like cheating if I shared a “my tomato is flowering” post for this one.  The plant was bit leggy when I bought it.  But it was $1.  I planted it about 8 inches deep and I’m hoping it quickly produces a robust root system and grows a bit bushier like the other plants.

My cucumbers are looking nice.  I’ve had 8 seeds germinate and they seem to be happy.  Some plants are starting to get their true leaves, while others have just popped.  I have a tendency to crowd my cucumbers, so this year I wanted one plant for every other vertical on the hog panel.  I’ve got fewer than that, but I’m perfectly happy with my 8 plants and hopefully we don’t run into the August fungus problems that we’ve had in years past, which I believe was caused by the lack of air circulation among overcrowded plants.

This morning I started weeding the garden rows (apparently I can’t get away from talking about weeding), and between a 90 degree forecast for this afternoon and a baby that doesn’t seem to want to give me more than an hour between feedings, all I got done was the cucumber row and the basil/onion row.  In the other rows I may or may not have done a little weeding just for the photos 😉 .

At first I was disappointed in the sparsity of my basil row, but I remembered that when I planted I didn’t have very many basil seeds left.  Part of my reason for weeding that row as opposed to the others is because I wanted to see how many basil plants there actually were.  I have about a dozen plants, which is plenty.  And since they’re nice and spaced out they should really get bushy.

My lettuce looks like it will be ready for some light harvesting soon.  I’m going to start at one end and gradually replant for a staggered harvest.

The cilantro and dill look like they could be lightly harvested as well.

As I was walking around I realized that I haven’t said much about my rhubarb patch since the beginning of May.  It’s doing pretty darn good.  Of the 16 plants I put in, 10 have survived thus far.  They’re not really liking the heat today, but it’s predicted that we get some rain and cooler weather starting tonight.

I’ve weeded the rhubarb patch twice now, and this second time I left a few volunteers.  There’s a sunflower in there and what I think might be some tomatillos.  I planted tomatillos in the garden 3 years ago and they got into our field (via manure, I believe) and we’ve had a lot of volunteers since.  If they turn out not to be tomatillos I have no qualms about yanking them.  I also picked up some parsley when I was at the Amish greenhouse since my parsley seeds that I planted in the corner of the rhubarb patch didn’t germinate (or it’s entirely plausible that I didn’t recognize them and pulled them out while weeding).  When they’re selling parsley plants for $1 per 4-pack, you don’t hesitate.  You actually buy two.

I know some of you have already been doing some harvesting, and as I see your posts I’m a bit jealous!  However, I know that in about a month I’ll have more produce than I know what to do with.  So in the meantime I’m just going to patiently do my weeding, clip a few herbs here and there, and wait for the onslaught.  Happy weeding!

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