Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rambling: Weekend farming

Weekend! Ha!

I should clean the house. I want to fry chicken. I want to sew my very first knit garment with my new serger--or at least prewash the knit and stare at the pattern. I want to get about six patterns traced and fitted--or at least sketch the new cuff on the Princess Shirt.

And I want to work on getting The Farm under control. I did a pretty decent job of controlling the weeds for part of the space for much of the summer, with a couple of fancy overpriced hoes. I now have a third fancy overpriced hoe that I'm eager to try out, but I also know more about my weeding limits. So I want to learn what (1) landscape paper, (2) landscape fabric, and, worst of all, (3), black plastic, will do for me.

The first plan is to move the strawberries and blueberries to new spaces, with landscape fabric controlling the weeds. I keep reading that landscape fabric is iffy for weed control--that weeds punch through it and turn it into a tangled mess, that it needs mulch to keep it from deteriorating under the sun, that the mulch means that weeds sprout on top, blah blah blah. There's a lot of no-win there. But we're going to give it a try anyway.

We were advised that the best way to deal with Bermuda grass is to cover the area with black plastic for a full year. That's what we did last year with the wide rows that are about to receive the strawberries; we'll see how it worked. And then that's what we'll do to the wide rows that the strawberries and blueberries are coming out of.  Toward one end, we might leave a few square feet uncovered, plant pumpkins and melons, and then let the vines roam over the plasticked part, because leaving garden space totally unused makes me twitch.

The landscape fabric bothers me because it's semi-permanent and doesn't allow soil amendments. So I'm also going to experiment with landscape paper, rolls of crepe-textured paper that are supposed to suppress weeds for a season (or a chunk of a season) and then deteriorate so that you can till them in at the end of the season. I'll use it for substantial-sized annual plants like kale and tomatoes and corn and such. Well, no, probably not corn, because corn seems to really need fertilizer infusions throughout the season, but the others are generally less picky.

Anyway, tomorrow I plan to haul twelve bags of manure out to The Farm and start amending the strawberry rows. Probably. Or I might take the black plastic off of part of the ornamental row by the fence and steal some manure for there, because I'm more excited about planting Japanese anemones than prepping for strawberries.

It is, of course, possible that I'll just sit outside in the side yard and eat sunflower seeds.

I like weekends.

Images: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I want to be able to enjoy the weekend without thinking so much about the "should do" list. Going to work on that now. :)

  2. Yo, Natalie! I suggest naps. Naps are good. :)