The Season Begins

The Kitchen Garden

Finally! A warm day, very little wind, and a babysitter to play with Angel, all at the same time!

Boy, did I learn something over the last year….

Those of you who have been hanging around the Corner for a while might remember this from last year, when in desperation I tried a new-to-me technique for dealing with weeds and cutting my workload.

Sheet Mulched bed

I’m sold.

When I pulled the newspaper-and-straw mulch off the bed on Wednesday, the bed was clean, save two or three weeds that had sneaked-in around the edges, and the soil was soft and crumbly. Soon as I can get another pair of (grownup) hands to help put the trellis in, we’ll plant the peas, carrots, beets and salad greens here. (Saturday looks like a good possibility)

Sheet Mulch Candidates

And these beds will get the Sheet Mulch treatment this season. The less time spent weeding, the better!

We had two nice days this week (it’s raining and 45 today)Β with loads of warm sunshine, and the trees and shrubs made up a little of their lost time:

K Garden Apple Tree

That bud on the kitchen garden apple tree was tightly closed on Monday. Wednesday afternoon, the green was showing…

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31 thoughts on “The Season Begins

  1. How exciting to see things getting started in the garden! We are using cardboard to sheet mulch our beds this year (the weeds are scary — almost knee high in some spots!) and it is so great. I love your beautiful tidy beds. I can’t wait to see what they get up to…

    • Up in the back field, I’m building some temporary raised beds using cardboard for the base, and old carpet for paths. It’s got lots of poison ivy, and that’s hard to kill even if you DO use chemicals…

  2. I remember that experiment – amazing results! I’ll definitely remember that if I ever get a proper vegetable plot! There’ll be something new to look at every day now – warming up here too. πŸ˜€

  3. fantastic. . So pleased the mulching worked for you – no weeding and no digging has to be a bonus! I’m planning a similar tactic for the new plot, I did it / continue to mulch away on my plot, so I don’t see why I should change things around. The only difference is that I’ll add a layer of manure on top of the paper, then whatever I can get hold of – grass clippings, straw, just more stuff. And instead of fruit this year it will be a temporary pumpkin patch πŸ™‚

  4. Isn’t it great when you try something out and it works? Not sure I could get the newspaper and straw mulch past my husband… he already grumbles that the garden looks too much like an allotment, but I really like the idea of less weeding!

  5. In between storms, I’ve cleared the rose beds and spread a deep layer of mulch. It will help but there will still be weeds to pull, I’m afraid. Still, good to hear that you found a great way to keep weeds at bay. You’ve such a nice set-up, Marie, but it’s a lot of work. If you can find a shortcut or two, go for it!
    We’ve had plenty of rain. Now, if we could just have a couple of those sunny days you’ve had, I’d be very happy.

      • I have a solution to the pathway problem! Buy the cheapest (nastiest) white spirit vinegar and spray directly onto the weed and into the root hole – preferably on a sunny day. Leave for a day or two before pulling up to ensure vinegar gets right down to root tip. You may have to do a couple of times. This is great when you have animals and small kids and it does not affect surrounding plants and much cheaper and less noxious than Roundup.
        Laura

    • Thanks, Charlie – and welcome!
      Pretty as the paths are (when they’re clean) I don’t think I would do it again…it’s just too much work to keep the weeds out when you don’t use Roundup. Maybe when the grandkids get older, I can pay them to weed it πŸ˜‰

  6. The weather looks gorgeous there, it is getting gray and yuck here. Good photography weather.
    Do you think you could apply that method on large, large beds. I am have a back yard full of weeds. I need to spend some time out in it. I like that idea.

    • Sheet mulching is perfect for big areas. Spade up the area, take out the biggest, most-obnoxious weeds, then turn the soil over, so that the weeds are roots-up. Cover the whole area with wet newspaper – or cardboard, since you won’t be planting in it until spring – then top the paper with straw, or something more attractive like bagged mulch. When you’re ready to plant, you can either pull all of the mulch off the bed and smooth out the soil, or tear the holes in the paper and just plant seedlings right through!

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