Monday, June 24, 2013

Spring Gardening

Potatoes, eggplant and cucumbers.
 This weekend's garden work included planting cucumbers and beans and finding creative (sustainable, organic) ways to get on top of the weed situation, which is intense.  

In some places (especially between beds), I'm reusing last year's weed block fabric topped off with a layer of straw (mostly because that looks nicer than weed block alone), which I don't love because the weed block isn't  biodegradable.  But it's what I had.  And it definitely does the job.  An additional bonus is that it may generate enough heat to kill the weed seeds underneath.

In other places, I'm using newspaper topped off with a generous layer of compost and then straw.  I think (hope!) this is going to work especially well for potatoes.  When it's time to hill them, I'm thinking I can just remove the straw and spread the (hopefully not weedy) compost around the plants.  I did one potato row last night as an experiment.  I'll do the other 3 this week.

I also bought 5 of these mulch blocks from Gardener's Supply.  I was really excited when I found them because they're organic and biodegradable.   They received hundreds of positive reviews on the web site, and they're MUCH more convenient than bags of mulch.  (The package even has a convenient carrying handle.)  So far, I used one block on top of weed fabric to cover a path between two beds.  Each block is supposed to cover 200 square ft.  But if you want a thick layer of mulch (which I do), then of course coverage is less.  And I don't love the color--kind of a reddish brown.  On the website, customers liked that the product held its color.  I'm actually hoping it fades.

Lettuce, kale and the first peas and snow peas.
Last week's weather was lovely.  This week the forecast is for heat and more heat--I'm not sure if that will do in my peas and snow peas, which have just started to come in. 

Also making an appearance are our first raspberries, which shouldn't mind the heat.  Spinach, however, has bolted.  I'll be pulling that out and using the space for something else--maybe some flowers.

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