What’s Happening on the Farm?
One word: Weeding! Now that we have our summer varieties planted, we are really focusing on weeding. This is our first garden on the farm and the weeds are really bad. We have been told to keep at the weeding and in a couple years we will have a (nearly) weed free garden...the key is to pull the weeds before they go to seed. We recently purchased bales of straw to mulch around our plants. We are also going to use newspaper (with a layer of straw on top of that) to keep weeds down. The newspaper is a trick I read about in Organic Gardening Magazine. Most newsprint today is printed with soy based ink, so it is a better option for the environment (than say black plastic mulch). The newsprint allows the soil to breathe, plus it will break down over time and condition the soil (like compost). Cardboard, brown craft paper, and paper grocery sacks also work well. We have also used some black plastic mulch along our west fenceline. The weeds are growing like crazy all along the fence, so we pulled the weeds and layed the black plastic down, securing it with ground staples. So far it is working well. We need to do the east side of the fenceline still. It is a project that takes about two hours per side. We have also had to get out our push lawn mower to knock down some weeds! The weather has been very wet and rainy (with more storms tonight and possibly tomorrow) and it has been too muddy to hoe or till the ground. The weeds have gotten way out of control in certain areas of the garden, so we mowed them down...we still have more to mow if the rain would ever stop. On a positive note, my cucumbers, early cantalope, and green beans are blooming like crazy. We even have baby cucs and zucchinis forming, so it shouldn't be long before those are ready to harvest!