Monday, May 19, 2014

Ebble's guide to #hotmess weeding: now I deserve a reward.

Sometimes you have a white trash yard. And sometimes you are ambitious and try to make it look less trashy. Sometimes you have to take an entire week off work, and this still doesn't give you enough time to make your yard not-trashy.

Take my word for it, white trash yards take a lot of work to get in shipshape. This will be our fifth summer trying to clean it all up. When we moved into our house the whole yard looked like this:

We rolled sod a couple years ago, which suffocated most of the weeds, but we still had a #hotmess situation around the perimeter of the yard - see above photo. We took a rototiller to it one year: this simply lifted up the weeds and re-rooted them. The next year we blitzed it with Roundup: this burned a lot of the weeds but they came back again with even deeper roots (not to mention the fact that this killed a lot of our plants...also, you know how much I hate toxins). Jeff's parents helped us clear the weeds a couple years ago, and this has thinned the weeds significantly. But many have survived the reaping.

This year, we are doing things my way! *We are going 100% organic and we are pulling these betches up by the roots.

*check back in a year...we will see if this works.

Step 1 of successful #hotmess weeding: start BIG! Get rid of the biggest weeds first. Focusing on one type of weed at a time is helpful. For example, start with the dandelions, then move on to smaller assholes. Try to remove as much of the root system as you can and throw everything away. If you find any slugs or snails throw them away. Earthworms stay in the ground. Sick looking bugs (ie mating beetles) get tossed over the fence into the neighbor's yard.

Step 2: once the big weeds are out, work on the little guys. These often have roots that spread out (like clover), and will spread (like weeds) once the bigger weeds are removed from the soil.

Step 3: water the soil and wait a day or two. Stragglers will start to emerge once the soil has settled. Pull these up now! These devils will come back to haunt you later. They are weeds, they are native plants to your yard, and they will survive.

Step 4: put in new soil and plant delightful flowers/produce. I like to use organic compost for my soil.

Your yard will go from this...

To this...



This was a pretty thankless task. At the end of a day weeding by yourself, the only reward you have is a sore back. Not to mention, these areas are much bigger than they look in the pictures, so it's kind of hard to believe that this could take someone 5 days. 

However, all my hard work was not in vain. I got to plant a lot of veggie seeds, and even bought a couple new flowering plants for myself. Lately, I am obsessed with hellebore. I think the flowers have such a dreamy, feminine look, and they bloomed for a really long time last year.

Soaking nasturtium seeds before sowing. These make good companion plants for cucumbers.

To help a sister out, I gifted my friend (a new mom) with easy-care plants for her birthday. I hated not having a beautiful garden during our first year as parents, so thought some low maintenance seeds and flowers made for a good gift.

Corn is basically grass, so in my mind it should grow well with simple day-to-day watering.

Finally, my last announcement is that I officially made my first baby toy! Now accepting orders!

That's all for now. Happy gardening everyone!

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