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

Reclaiming a weedy garden

Grazing goat

This is the time of year when any mistake you made in the garden amplifies by the second. If, like me, you left last year's mistakes alone to be dealt with later, your garden may look more like a weedy lawn than a growing space. (At least the goats are impressed!)

Garden solarization

Conventional gardeners fix these troubled spots by tilling (and maybe tilling again). I'm instead solarizing some areas, kill mulching others, and (for the easy spots) hand weeding and following up with cover crops (buckwheat and soybeans). I cover the first two of these methods in Small-Scale Gardening Basics and the last in Homegrown Humus if you want to follow my lead.

Summer garden

Then, once the garden is reclaimed, I mulch heavily to maintain my tenuous win over the weeds. Win, lose, or draw, I generally get at least some harvest, plus many beautiful mornings in the garden to I guess it's really always a win.

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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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I've always found weeds beneficial, in that after I pull them up, I use them as mulch over what I'm planting. That way, I don't have to buy mulch. It gets so expensive after a while.
Comment by Chris Wed Jun 14 06:37:27 2017

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