Going Wild

I’m an old woman with lots of interests and not enough time. There’s no way my garden will ever have a manicured look. My mantra is, “Get a little bit done every day.”

Of course, that doesn’t just apply to weeding and watering. And some things don’t wait. When the peaches are ripe, I can and dry and freeze. When the tomato plot is dry, I water. When the chickens need clean water…every day…I’m out there filling founts and scooping out poopy hay. And lines of a poem wait for no one.

The garden, on the other hand, does what it does regardless of what I do or don’t get done.

Along the actual rows of okra and tomato plants, I weed. The chickens love it when I do, because I throw the treats into their runs. But I note with dismay that corners and empty stretches of the garden not only grow weedy, but the weeds go to seed. That doesn’t bode well for next year.

I have noticed that cleared and planted sections surrounded by weedy beds don’t seem to dry out as quickly. I’ve had fewer insect problems this year than usual, but who knows if it’s because of nearby weed plots.

Perhaps we try to be too pristine. We don’t want weeds competing for nutrients and moisture. But what if there’s a middle ground somewhere between total control and no control at all?

I’m going to have to put some thought into how to set up a repeatable experiment here. And make sure there is time to keep one bed weed free without adding mulch that the other beds don’t get.

Meanwhile, I need to do my little bit for today. This weed job requires a face mask. Who knew ragweed bloomed in August?


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