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 area 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.
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.
Four 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.
This 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!
Bev, you are honest ! Oh your area looks a lot like some of mine come Aug. -except I havent attacked the weeds yet ! Arlene
Every winter and spring I tell myself I will keep up with the weeding.Sorry you are having such drought.
We are dry here also but supposed to get some rain soon.
LOL Arlene. I don’t know a master gardener who doesn’t have a few weed patches by August. And yes, I think we all make the same resolutions every winter – this year I will keep up on the weeding! :-D
LOL – I think that the first time I made that particular winter resolution, Gerald Ford was President :)
I had similar issue. My wife and I went to New Mexico to visit her mom and then drive back with her mom things because shes moving out to Texas with us. 4 days turned into a month. My wife ended up having emergency back surgery and we had to stay, they said she’d be dead before we drove to the 12 hr drive to Texas. Had to call my co worker and asked him to water my garden, Am still in saving mode. At least my Honey Bear is still with me.
I am very glad your “Honey Bear” is doing better. The unexpected happens and, I think, the older I get the faster time goes!
Several weeks ago I realized, as I walked behind my mower (about 1 1/2 hours per week, this time of year) that I’m ‘harvesting’ my grass. I don’t feel the least bit guilty about having probably 6,500 square feet of lawn in the middle of the desert, because I have a good well and don’t mind paying the electric bill. But, I realized that without that lawn I would be having to import lots of mulch. This year has been an easy year for me for weeding, at least in the gardens. The lawn is virtually weed free after 30 years of diligence and bagging the clippings. But those clippings sure come in handy for mulch and I don’t mind mulching heavily. Dump the bag and leave it where it falls. The weeds that you do have pull easily, but I don’t have many because I cover ’em up. Saves me on water in the gardens, too. So I have more to put on the lawn…
The weeding and lawn mowing and mulching with lawn clippings really reflect the quandary I faced in gardening this year. I was planning on using the lawn clippings for mulch but so dry have not mowed for a month. I put down newspaper and put the weeds on top of the paper to hold it down. Not too nice looking but works for now. I dont water the lawn just let go dormant here. It will catch up when it rains enough again but I was really looking forward to the clippings.