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

Garden shortcuts


Many gardening shortcuts create more work in the long run, but a few make the cut for our homestead. First up --- solarization season is upon us again, with low-lying weeds like chickweed dying in a week under clear plastic. (Yes, this is the same dropcloth I used to paint our living room last winter. No waste here!)

After flame weeding

Meanwhile, I finally found an effective use for the Weed Dragon. The flame weeder did next to nothing against established weeds, and I usually depend on mulch to kill off bad seedlings. The exception is in the asparagus beds, where soil stays bare for over a month during harvest season. Weed pressure is terribly high there as a result...but perhaps not any more?

I weeded the asparagus bed well two weeks ago, but new seedlings popped up in short order. Not a problem with the Weed Dragon on hand! Just pick every spear, flame the bed hard, and the soil is once again nearly weed-free. Only problematic runnering grasses are still coming up. Maybe another round or two of flame weeding will do the trick on those?

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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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