Seven years of bad weeding
Many people believe that if
you break a mirror you get seven years of bad luck. The only
mirror I own is at the entrance to the chicken coop (a reused closet
door), so I can't speak to the truth of the mirror legend. But I
can tell you that if you let weeds go to seed in your garden, you're in
for seven years of extra work.
Kill mulches are the
obvious solution. I rip out as many of the weeds as I can, then
top what's left off with a heavy layer of cardboard and then wood chips
(around the trees) or straw (around the vegetables). I've found
that in areas with vigorous vines, like Japanese honeysuckle, it may
take multiple kill mulches a few months apart to really wipe out the
Next, I plant tomatoes
next-door to the trouble zones. Mark and I love tomatoes more
than any other plant in the summer garden, and they're a bit of a
struggle in our humid climate. So I commit to pruning off
diseased leaves and new suckers every week, then tying the tomatoes up
to their stakes. The result is that I pay attention to that part
of the garden on a regular basis, and no weed goes to seed without me
The final solution in my
anti-weed campaign this year is butternut squash. Although we
love butternuts, I consider them plant-it-and-forget-it crops.
But as long as the weed pressure is relatively low, they do a pretty
good job of acting as a living mulch, shading the ground so seeds don't
Our chicken waterer is fill-it-and-forget-it. In fact, I have to put on my planner to check on our bucket waterers twice a month since they're so low maintenance.
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