Georgia Garden Girl

Garden Great in Zone 8!

New Blooms

Today, my goal is to put down as much mulch as possible. Mulch helps prevent weeds and water loss. So that’s my project. Yippee.

During my mulching, I saw some new blooms: daisies, hydrangeas, and gardenias. Summer is almost here, y’all!

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Mulch in progress: I put down newspaper first to slow down the weeds.

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Back to the yard. Enjoy this beautiful day!

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Weekend Update

It was an exciting weekend at my house.  The weather was gorgeous, and I was able to get a lot of work done in the yard.  I also attended the hypertufa workshop at Columbus Botanical Garden—I’ll give you an update on that as soon as I pick up my beautiful creation later this week.  But I know you’re on pins and needles wanting to know what garden tasks I accomplished this weekend, so here is my report.

It is the busiest time of year for me.  I am a procrastinator by nature, so I usually put off important garden prep work until the last possible minute.  Last year, I didn’t even start building my tomato ladders until after my tomatoes were in the ground.  Big mistake.  I decapitated a poor little Cherokee Purple when I dropped one of the “rungs” on it.  And I ran out of steam when it came to weeding an area where I was going to plant tomatoes, so I decided that I would just till it, put down newspaper, and hope for the best.  Well, the newspaper did work for a while, but it was no match for the aggressive encroachment of the dollarweed a/k/a pennywort a/k/a the weedy bane of my existence (for me, the only weed worse than dollarweed is chamberbitter a/k/a little mimosa a/k/a gripeweed a/k/a just plain horrible awfulness).

This year, I am determined to do better.  And I am happy to announce that I appear to be on the right track.  Mainly because the soil temperature hasn’t reached a consistent 65°F, so I haven’t wanted to plant my veggies yet and I’ve had more time for prep work (thank you, cold snap).  If you’re not sure whether your soil is warm enough for you to plant, you can just use your meat thermometer.  Or you can check http://www.georgiaweather.net/.

Anyway, my two main tasks at this point are (1) weeding and (2) building supports for my vegetables.  This weekend was a perfect time for both tasks.  The ground was still soft from last week’s rain, so weeds came out of the ground fairly easily and the supports went into the ground without a herculean effort.  So I weeded and weeded and weeded.  Then I tied together a lot of bamboo.  And then I weeded.  Then I selected the twenty-one tomato plants (out of the fifty or so I started from seed) that will live in my yard this summer.  And then I weeded and weeded and weeded.

You may wonder why I spent so much time weeding.  First, I have a lot of weeds.  I’ve been lazy about eradicating weeds in the past, plus the two yards behind mine are basically jungles whose weeds send their seeds into my yard.  Darn them.  Second, if I’ve only learned one thing in my six years as a homeowner/aspiring gardener, it’s that there is no substitute for good old elbow grease when it comes to weeding.  I’ve tried weeding-by-tiller.  But I still have to pull up the weeds to prevent re-infestation.  I’ve tried a weed-whacker.  But I wasn’t getting the roots, so the weeds grew back, plus it was easy to maim the plants I wanted to keep.  I’ve tried an herbicide.  But I accidentally injured or killed some of my good plants when I did.  So for me, old fashioned pulling is the way to go.  Which means I actually have to do it or I’ll be overrun with weeds before the first tomato plant sets fruit.  At times, I feel like Sisyphus—but instead of a boulder and a hill, I have weeds.  But if I keep up with it little by little, surely I will prevail.  And there is good news on the horizon: some researchers in Nebraska are creating a robot to pull weeds.  I am not making this up: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/14/171817006/when-resistance-is-futile-bring-in-the-robots-to-pull-superweeds.  Y’all need to know how much I love my three Roombas.  So when iRobot comes out with a weed pulling robot, I am going to buy it.

In the next week or so, I will continue weeding, and I will put down some mulch.  I will also finish my vegetable supports and then plant my baby vegetables.  When things are presentable, I’ll post some photos!

Happy gardening!

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