Thursday, June 11, 2009

Weeds, Weeds, and More Weeds

Bloggermint seemingly immortal enemy....creeping charlie. It seems to grow anywhere and everywhere. If I put down mulch to suppress it, it tunnels underneath and surrounds my plants coming up out of the small hole. Sometimes I think it is mocking me, and when I pull a handful out and turn around, it sends up two handfuls in its place. At least creeping charlie is easy to pull up in large clumps. And it is really easy to get rid of in cultivated soil with my new best friend: the shuffle hoe. Also known as a stirrup hoe, or a double action hoe. I have even heard hula hoe.

The point of this hoe is that it has a double-edged blade that cuts weeds under the surface and it cuts going forward and backward. So you get twice as much work done in the same amount of time. Now this doesn't work with very dug in weeds. I learned that the hard way. I let my garden get runover with weeds and tried to use this hoe to clean it up. I got nowhere. I had to use a regular hoe and get blisters hacking the weeds from out of the ground. However, once your area is clear, this is SOOOOO helpful in keeping the weeds out.

I weeded a 25 by 25 garden today (that hadn't been done in at least 2 1/2 weeks, with heavy rains) in about 20 minutes. The soil was still loose and the weeds hadn't had time to dig down deep yet, so this thing just tosses them up on top. Then you leave them and the sun cooks them dead. Creeping charlie doesn't stand a chance with this. Then of course you could put down some mulch of the kind you prefer, but with this thing you really don't need it.

It is getting a little dark in this picture, but I was able to get between all the lettuce rows easily in just a few minutes.

My son can even use it and we went between all the pepper plants without cutting them down. Anyways, do you think I like it? Ha ha. I also use a natural vinegar and soap spray to kill weeds that are in cracks and along the edging. I use an empty pump sprayer and just fill it up with a gallon of white vinegar. You can buy a more concentrated version, but I just use plain old white vinegar from the store. I put it into the 1 Gallon pump sprayer with about 2 tbsp dish soap to help it stick and just spray right onto the weeds. It is best to do this on a sunny day, because vinegar is a defolliant, which means it sucks the moisture out of the leaves. If you do it on a cloudy day, your results won't be nearly as good. You can also just take the vinegar and pour it straight onto the roots and soak it. That will work very well too, but you use a lot of vinegar fast that way.

This is my sickie. He has some kind of coxsackie virus. There isn't much you can do about it, except give him motrin and ride it out. He has been averaging a 102 temp since Tuesday night. The motrin brings it down, but then it pops right back up when the medicine wears off. He says his throat hurts and his appetite is down. He also has been sleeping more. Hopefully this virus will be done soon and he can go back to having fun in the summer time.

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