Friday, August 9, 2013
Year Of The Weeds
At this time of year we are licking our wounds, cleaning up failed garden sections and trying to prevent new weed growth. The first photo was taken on July 19th. Peas that had tried to emerge during a hot dry period and the weeds that followed were cleared. Two hills of squash were surrounded by dry grass clippings in an attempt to limit weed growth. Two days of gentle rain followed with the squash quickly sprouting.
By August 6th purslane also freely sprouted. The grass clippings prevented any weed growth under their thick blanket. The area where the seeds were planted was intentionally left bare so that the squash could germinate.
Now the weeds are gone and the grass clippings blanket is continuous. Additional grass may be added when time and rain have compacted the weed barrier.
My first attempts to use grass clippings as mulch were only partially successful. Fresh wet cut grass fills with mold. Now I follow the farmer's practice of cutting hay one day and gathering it the next. Time to dry allows the piled grass to remain light and airy. Mold is less prevalent but the layer does require replenishment. With any luck these squash will bear ahead of the September frost. When the ground is cleared to bare soil for the winter, there may be no weeds to contend with.