you like those weeds don't you? this is after having cleared the entire area out twice. once to lay newspaper down and when that didn't work, again to lay down 2 layers of weed cloth. a lot of good it did me! so, after months of watching them all grow back, i started round 3.
i began with a small rake and was careful not to pull up the weed cloth underneath as i went. i picked up what weeds i could and then sprayed the whole area with vinegar, being extra careful not to get any on any of the plants i wanted to keep.
and check out the root on this guy. that one felt good to muscle out of the ground!
next, i thought since i can actually get to the garden, i'll harvest what has continued to grow with no help from me. i got quite a haul.
including a beet almost as big as my head!
a couple of days after the vinegar soaked in (and my muscles had a chance to calm down and stop screaming at me every time i moved) i went back to it.
now that all the weeds were dead and picked up...
(this is why i'm glad i sometimes forget my reusable bags!)
...it was time for the fun part! i decided i didn't want everything to go back where it was before because i had learned a little about placement from last time. last time i went more for how it looked than actually being able to reach things in my above-ground garden. this time, i was going to leave plenty of room around it so that i could get back there to do things like weed and spread coffee grounds (fertilizer) and egg shells (slug repellent) without having to contort myself around another potted plant i had in the way. i also wanted to put my pepper plants into cages to get them up off the ground. i didn't realize just how big those suckers would get and they are trailing all over the ground inviting every ground crawling bug to munch away at them.
so, now i have potted plants and extra pots, what shall i do with them? stack them! i put the extra pots in the corners with the plants on top. now i don't have to look at empty pots laying around and it raises my plants up off the ground.
one of the things i'm happiest about is i'm finally getting my mandevilla to grow up the pallet i nabbed out of the dumpster. i realized it was twisting around the tomato plant i had next to it, so i carefully unwound it from there and wound it around some string i attached to the pallet. i'm hoping to get lots of beautiful, red flowers on it this summer. the humming birds will love it!
so, after a few days and a lot of hard work, i have a nice clean garden again. my pepper plants are in cages and thriving, my succulents look healthy and my mandevilla is climbing. oh happy day!
(the surfboard is there to deter our garden loving cat from squeezing under the fence)
as i was working, i had a funny realization. i talk to my garden and the spiders and other insects that live there. out loud. i told my tomato plant not to take it personally that i was ripping him out of his planter. i told him, it's me, it's not you, i didn't take care of you properly. i think i broke up with my tomato plant! later i put my head through a spider web and apologized to the spider for destroying his home. maybe i'm a little too close to nature, lol.
things i'd like you to take away from this post:
1. vinegar is a great weed killer and it won't hurt the environment, pets or wildlife
2. coffee grounds make a great fertilizer. i think with my peppers, it may have been too good!
3. egg shells sprinkled around the base of your plants will keep slugs away
4. don't be afraid to get dirty and try things. you'll never learn which plants work well in your garden if you're not willing to make a few mistakes along the way.