Gardening has become an important hobby for me over the past few years. My daughter lives on several acres just outside of town, so we decided to start a garden. This was something we both had wanted to do for several years. Fortunately, or unfortunately for gardening, we live in what is considered brush country. This means weeds and grasses in everything.
We planted our first garden in the spring and watched the seeds sprout and grow. Being very busy with work, neither one of us checked on the garden for four or five days. When I drove out one evening, it was so exciting to see the beautiful green garden standing about two feet high. As I got closer, I realized that the beautiful green was weeds. The weeds had outgrown the plants. It took hours and hours to get the weeds pulled out and when we finished, we had to start all over. The weeds continually outgrew the plants we had planted. This was not our idea of gardening.
After trying several things that did not work, we found 6mm black plastic. We covered our garden with the plastic using landscape pins to hold it in place. We cut rows in the plastic about four inches in width in which to plant the seeds. We cut small squares out to plant small plants. We found that using pieces of plastic about 10 feet by 15 feet or 10 feet by 20 feet worked better than larger pieces. The smaller pieces don’t get as much wind underneath that pull the landscape pins out of the ground on windy days.
We now have weeds only when we get a tear in the plastic or a few weeds in the rows between plants which are easy to control if we get them early. We no longer have a garden in which the weeds outgrow the vegetables. It’s not pretty, but it works.
On a side note, we found that white plastic does not work because it lets the sun get to the weeds. The black plastic keeps the weeds from getting sunlight and keeps them from growing.
Thanks to Marie for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest.
We have over $2,097 in prizes lined up for the Fall 2015 Writing Contest, including all of the following:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
– 1 free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $239 value
– A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
– 2 large heirloom seed collections from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, valued at $103 each
– A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $59 each
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $43 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $33 each
– 4 copies of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, valued at $31 each