Last Resort Weeding

By Bev Sandlin

Sometimes stuff happens and the garden becomes a low priority. I’m writing this with a variety of scenarios in mind…

– A SHTF situation, you bug out, come back a week or two later and NEED that garden to produce.

– A personal SHTF situation and you come back and are overwhelmed by the weeds.

– You discover someone else’s garden in weed mode and are trying to salvage it.

Whatever the reason, weeds happen. This is a small horseshoe garden of – guess from this picture – that I put in this spring to salvage some plants. I am beginning to think my problem this year is the 3 year old composted horse manure I used as everywhere I spread it I got crabgrass and similar weeds.

weeds 1

I’ve ignored this spot, not even watering it in the now 6 week drought we have going, but I decided to do a show and tell and this will work well.

I timed myself – 10 minutes in this garden.

First I took the water wand and watered for about two minutes and then sat the wand down on one particularly bad spot in the weed patch. Weeds pull up a whole lot easier when the roots are wet. They are also less likely to disturb the roots of the desirable plants as you are pulling the weeks. Root crops don’t take well to being overrun by weeds and then doing this technique, but even with them you can often tuck the onions, etc. back in and get a harvest that you wouldn’t if you do nothing at all.

Here we are about 6 minutes into the 10 minute weeding. I knew I had planted strawberries, but could YOU see that? Unknown garden, attempt to identify what the crop is. Pull weeds ABOVE the crop if possible as an “overview weeding” to see what is left and get a feel for the roots/stems of the desired crop you do not want to weed out.

Weeds 2Four more minutes. I called time at 10 minutes. Lots of the weeds are out including the creeping charlie and violets that can look similar in structure to the strawberries.

This is not a perfect weed, but a lot of the strawberries are still there and thriving! Any I pulled out, I poked back in. They are starting to send out runners now. Shortly I will be starting a whole new strawberry bed where the potatoes are being harvested.

Weeds 3This little garden I am hoping to make into an outdoor potting area and lettuce garden – sheltered from the full force of the sun – next year.

So, now you know how to do a quick weeding and salvage your crop even if stuff happens and the weeds get the better of you!

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