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

Re-mulching the onions and garlic

Weedy and mulched garlic
Last fall when I planted our potato onion and garlic bulbs, I left gaps in the straw mulch so that the new shoots would be able to push up through.  If I'd been smart, I would have come along a month later once the leaves showed and added straw snug up against my onion and garlic plants.  I didn't.  Instead, once the snow melted, I was chagrined to see big weed islands surrounding each plant.

At first, I figured I'd have to hand weed each bed, but I put that off for about a month since the ground has been way too cold to make weeding pleasant.  Eventually, it occurred to me Daffodils and strawthat I might be able to get away with just adding another layer of straw over the problem plants and let lack of sun do my weeding job for me.  Some of these weeds are very sneaky, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the chickweed slips up through the straw and continues to grow, but I figure it's worth a shot at preventing all of that cold weather weeding.

A side benefit of mulching my Alliums was moving our over-wintered straw off the secondary daffodil patch.  We have more daffodils than we can shake a stick at, and I certainly wouldn't have spent energy moving the bales just to save a few dozen of our thousands of bulbs.  But with the first flowers already opening up, I know we'll enjoy seeing a sea of yellow flowers next week.

Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.

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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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