"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Friday, May 29, 2009

Weeding and Reseeding

Planting was put on hold for a couple days as we were forced to catch up on weeding. A great deal of time has been spent over the last couple of days removing the multitude of tiny weeds that have sprung forth in order to find any "bare" spots that needed to be replanted. Luckily, very little reseeding was necessary this spring. About 1/3 of the seeds I direct seeded were my own and the rest came from a wide variety of other sources. The only serious germination issue was with pepper seed. Of course, in a panic, I replanted so many peppers seeds that we are now faced with a glut of the plants. Last year's germination, especially with certain direct seeded crops, was a real problem thanks to bad seed from certain seed companies. This year all is well... so far. That is me in the picture below writing a list of things that need to be replanted.

So, I have a revolutionary new system for weeding that is guaranteed to work for everyone. After years of trial and error trying to find the easy way out, heavy mulching, no mulching at all, using a torch... naw. I have come up with the perfect way to weed. First bend over and pull all the little weeds close to your plants with your thumb and index finger, hoe the rest, and repeat diligently on a daily or at least weekly basis. :)

Really, weeds can be a big issue and the best way to take care of them is to spend a little time each day pulling them. I guesstimate that an average weed takes around 5-10 days to reach a size worth the effort to remove. So, for example, if I had 10 rows of crops, I would simply weed one row each day in order to stay on top of the whole weed problem. A strict weeding schedule works for us... discipline is the easiest solution to weeds that I have come across. Happy weeding!

This row of carrots has been weeded and only a few needed to be reseeded.

No weeds left in the salad garden or the berry patch.

I have never had to reseed potatoes, but these ones definitely needed to be weeded.


AccidentalHW said...

HA! I too have discovered that revolutionary weeding method you use. Alas, I was really hoping to find some other system.

el said...

I *love* little garden tours like this when I am chained to my desk at work! So pleasant, all those weeded beds.

Yeah, I am a big mulcher myself, but indeed I do need to get down and hand-pull; this isn't terribly horrible a task, except for the bed of onions. It's nice to do it right when you're finishing up something strenuous.

Silke said...

Your garden looks wonderful! So organized and everything is growing so well. I do not like weeding, but then I don't know many people who do... In our warm climate here, weeds grow as well - or better - than the plants. One of my problems is fire ants - they are prolific here, hard to get rid of, and I am quite allergic to them - makes me nervous every time my hands get close to the dirt... That leaves Daniel - the real gardener in our family - to do most (if not all) of the weeding and planting. That's really the best system I've found over the years...;) Silke

Eva said...

Pictures of your garden leave me breathless!! Really Fantastic! I'm guessing you grow a vast majority of your food?

Mr. H said...


Yeah, that's all I have come up with thus far. If you do find a better system please share it with the rest of us. :)

Mr. H said...

Hi El,

I don't know how you do it, Mom, wife, garden, school garden, chained to desk... wow.

We mulch some things but have to be careful as slugs can be a real nuisence around these parts. I weeded onions yesterday, a most interesting task... garden pilates?

Mr. H said...


Weeding is no fun , but sometimes it is a good way to just plug along and contemplate life... meditation if you will.

Fire ants, don't have them, don't ever want them. My garden is a sort of organized chaos, but thanks for saying it looks good.

Mr. H said...


Thank you for your nice comment. We only go to the store for things we are to lazy to make... like certain condiments. If the local grocer disappeared tomorrow it would have little impact on our lives. We grow enough food to get by easily 365 days a year. A goal that has taken us many years of trial and error to achieve.

I think the only thing I would miss is store bought salad dressings... I just can't seem to make one that tastes any good. And nuts! I love nuts. But we do have some walnut trees started and our hazel nuts may produce this year for us... fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting our little blog.


SuburbanGardener said...

You had me hanging on every word and I expected a new way to keep the weeds in control. Then slowly I read it twice and realized you got me.

Your gardens are looking pretty awesome. When a friend asked what I would do with my life if I won the lottery my answer was just 2 words. "Grow carrots". Seems like a great ambition to me. Now I'm going to try your weeding technique.

Mr. H said...


I love it.

Just think, if you won the lottery you could grow EVERY kind of carrot... heck, you could even send me some free carrot seed samples. :) If I was to win the lottery I think I would go for a small heated greenhouse so that we could grow peppers and tomatoes all year long.

A simple life, lived simply, might just bring more happiness than all the riches in the world.

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