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Garden Progress

2009 03 19


After finding some newly available free time earlier this week, I spent the afternoons weeding the garden. Spent the morning again on Saturday going through the strawberry patch and through some of the walkways.  Felt more like a plowing by mattock than weeding – the weeds had formed a matted sheet over the raised beds, consisting mainly of wild ranunculus, dandelions, creep grass,  and clover.  Each of these weeds has very different root systems, none easy to pull by hand.


The ranunculus, or Coyote’s Eyes is the most successful infestation – a plant with multiple stems and multiple primary roots, along with underground runners.   The flowers are pretty in the mid-summer, but it’s rare to successfully pull by hand except in winter and spring, when the roots systems are weaker.


I can imagine the Puritans associating demons very closely with Dandelions.  They spawn exponential   seeds, have an inhuman root strength, and an aesthetic lustiness at maturity that attracts children like birthday cake candles.  We’ve been determined to remove these each year, and they’ve grown steadily stronger in the yard since our arrival. 


The creep grass and clover is under control, but not yet a joy to pull.  Both have strong and extensive root systems, and are waiting for our vigilance to flag.


We’re also dealing with an oregano infestation.  I saw a quote somewhere recently that said, “a weed is ‘any plant that grows where you don’t want it to be.”  The oregano is quite insistent on growing among the strawberries, and has survived multiple “complete uprooting.” We’re hoping that the 2nd year strawberries will choke them out.


It was cold, so we didn’t last long.  I hacked at the dandelions and ranunculus in the walkways, and Lillian took the Hori Hori digging knife to the strawberries.  If you look at the photostream, you can see the strawberry patch, the kale, and the soon to arrive artichokes.  We’ll be planting potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, and cabbage shortly.  Asparagus should arrive within the month.


It snowed this afternoon and this evening.  The cold this year may affect our planting time – it may be late April  before seeds go in the ground.  I’m hoping to have the greenhouse in shape by early this week and transplants started immediately.

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