Gardening

Starting early in the battle against weeds

Like thousands of other gardeners, I’ve been taking advantage of the warm weather. I haven’t actually planted anything but, I did get a large part of our upper vegetable garden prepared with some help from our chickens

Last fall,  I let the chickens clean up all of the left-over garden debris. They pecked and ate everything that was even remotely edible. After all of the old cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and kale were gone, the hens started on the weeds. They are very good at finding weed seeds and seedlings.

A couple of weeks age, I spread some manure over that garden and worked it into the soil with the rotary tiller. The manure will have a chance to mellow a bit before planting time.

Early spring tilling has its avanages.

Now, after the long stretch of balmy weather, weed seedlings have sprouted and begun to grow; that was part of my plan all along.

Warm soil temperatures this spring stimulated weed growth.

The next time I till — just before planting — I’ll destroy thousands of tiny weeds before they have a chance to grow. There will that many fewer weeds to contend with later  in the season.

This technique was commonly used by farmers back in the days before chemical herbicides became popular. It’s still a good weed-fighting tactic for gardeners to add to their bag of tricks.

 

 

Bob Dluzen

As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob’s gardening has become an integral part of his life. “It’s the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued,” he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.