The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

April is weeding month

Wheelbarrow of weedsApril is a weeding month.  It's essential to get the small perennials weeded before they really start growing so that I don't damage their new shoots and flowers, so this week's goal is to weed the strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, herbs, perennial onions, and garlic.

Next week, I'll focus on the beds to be transplanted or planted into this month, then will move on to the beds earmarked for summer crops.  Last call (if I don't run out of time before planting season begins) will be weeding the spring garden that I planted in February and March.

A winter mulch of straw makes this weeding job less time-consuming, but there's still plenty of chickweed, bittercress, dandelions, and dead nettles pushing up through my mulch.  Every year, I get a bit further ahead of the weeds --- maybe this year will be the one where I'll rip all of the spring weeds out before they go to seed.
Chickens eating weeds
The task looks a bit daunting, but feels better once I dive in and begin.  Twenty-six beds later, I feel as peaceful as if I'd spent the day meditating, and the chickens are sated on three wheelbarrow loads of worms, snails, and chickweed.  I think April is going to be a good month.

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock happy between wheelbarrow loads of weeds.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We never had chickweed or dead nettles until the state put an underpass in less than a mile from our property. When they were done they sprayed grass and supposedly wild flowers to reestablish the area to prevent erosion. Now we have multiple invasive species in the area, no flowers though. I picked chickweed, clover, and dead nettles out of the garden for over three hours yesterday, some of it may be edible but I still can not stand it in the garden.
Comment by Don G Thu Apr 7 13:18:56 2011
That's a fascinating observation. In our area, chickweed and dead nettles are ubiquitous, but they only pop up in certain conditions (damp, bare soil over the winter.) I wonder if you changed anything about your garden during the same time period that the underpass went in to make it more habitable by the weeds?
Comment by anna Thu Apr 7 16:13:18 2011

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