Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weed-wacking the garden

In the last two days, I have been seriously obsessed. With the garden, that is.

You see, the garden was overgrown. Seriously so. To walk from one raised bed to another required wading through waist-high grasses, daisies, clover, and other assorted plants.

Frankly it was getting embarrassing. Some neighbors came over a couple days ago and I showed them the garden, and we practically needed a pith helmet and machete to get through it.

So... armed with this tiny but brave weed-wacker...

...I assembled several long extension cords and hit the hay. Literally. Half an acre of it.

For two days I wacked and wacked and wacked. Back and forth, around and around. I went through an entire package of plastic weed-wacker cordage. And while I'm not completely finished, at least most of my tires and raised beds are rescued from the jungle.

Blueberry bed, before:

Blueberry bed, after.

Garlic boat, before:

Garlic boat, after. (Yes, I know it's getting close to when I need to snip the garlic scapes.)

Vine tires, before... (By "vine" I mean vine-y plants such as pumpkin, watermelon, honeydew, cucumber, etc.)

Vine tires, after.

All in all, it's nice to be able to see my garden again.

Of course, toiling for two days in the hot sun meant I emerged filthy.

In a comical sort of way.

Weed-wacking finally gave me the excuse I needed to collect all the debris that had accumulated in the garden during the layout and planting process.

And at last I could see my strawberries in all their jeweled glory. What a treat to finally pick our own berries!

My veggies (and fruits) are growing, but many are growing verrrry slowly. To those who live in more verdant climates, you're probably snickering at my small zucchini (and other plants).

But remember, it was cold and rainy here well past June 21, so my poor little plants are trying to make up for lost time now that we have hot weather. I have maybe -- maybe! -- two months before the first frost, so we'll see what ripens and matures. It's tough, gardening in a northern climate.

But look -- one single blueberry is beginning to ripen! Soon the others will follow and I'll have my first official blueberry crop.

Life is good.


  1. Patrice, that was a mighty fine job of weed-wacking you did there Patrice! My area around the garden boxes need some wacking too. It may not be as high but it's just as thick.

    I love that you planted your garlic in the boat, its a great idea.

    Those are some nice looking strawberries. How are you keeping the animals from eatting your beautiful strawberries? As soon as mine turned red the squirrels ate them all.

  2. Cover your blueberry bushes! I watched my berries get big, fat and blue and the day I went out to pick them they were all gone! The birds got them all except for the two testers I ate the day before. I have netting to put on them now. There is no rush for me to put it out yet since I have no blueberries to worry about this year.

  3. Have you ever tried I scythe? I would think for tall grass it would be much better suited not to mention quiet and clean.

  4. Please do Tick checks since you are bare legged doing this. Lyme and other tick born illness's are all over the country. We reside in NY in the heart of lyme country, and it has hit our family and many that I know.

    1. Thankfully we seldom have ticks around here. When we lived in Oregon, ticks were a constant hassle. Here, if we see one or two per summer it's a big deal. In our area we also don't have poison oak or poisonous snakes. Nice!

      - Patrice

  5. Garlic scape pesto.... My mouth is watering! Love the garlic boat

  6. Recipe! I want that recipe! Can you post it?

    - Patrice

    1. Never mind, I just googled "garlic scape pesto" and several recipes came right up. I adore pesto, so I'm going to try this. I'll be sure to post about it!

      - Patrice

  7. Right now we have a new lawn mower that doesn't want to work so all our cutting is done via weed wacker too. Its a bit more of a job than just pushing that mower but it gets the job done. Yours looks great now and I am sure you will visit your garden more now that it is nicer.

  8. The best weed whacker string that I have found is made by DR the manufacture of a lot of well engineered equipment. We have a push style weed whacker mower and it uses a large diameter string so do not know if this will work for you are not. Also stay away from a shaped style of string as plastics are very notch sensitive and the square style will crack and fail much faster.

  9. To live where there are no rattlesnakes that's my dream.
    Tall grass like that is a real threat for us. Fire and rattlesnakes.


  10. I have one of those Scott nonpowered (or human powered) reel push mowers. LOVE it! As for a weed whacker, I have my scythe, which cuts more per swing than a weed whacker.

    SwampMan LOVES his power lawn mower and weed whacker, but often we're outta gas, or weed whacker string, or the sparkplug needs replacing, etc. I like having something that I can just go get it and it is ready to use.

    I could never let the grass get that high here; an alligator might be dozing in it!

  11. It's so FUN to read comments from people all over the country and find out what life is like where they are!

    Alligators in the tall grass? Are you kidding me?!

    Garlic scape pesto? No way! You can eat the scape?

    One tick a summer? Try one or two a day here.

    I keep forgetting this is a BIG country!

    Just Me

  12. I don't snicker at anyone's garden because I know how hard it is to have a good one.
    Congratulations on getting all the weeds. Still working on that here myself.
    Have a great week!

  13. Yup. Every place in Florida that has a pond, creek, canal, or wetlands has alligators in it. We had record flooding a couple weeks ago, too, so there were gators swimming in the streets and sunning themselves on patios, so folks had to look first before they stepped out. The snakes were pretty bad, too.

    Our front yard was only knee deep, so we were better off than a lot of folk.

  14. Patrice,
    I'm just curious, with so much ground to cover wouldn't some kind of begged or borrowed mower made sense? I know you still have to get up close and personal with all of the planters and stuff with the weed whacker, but I also know from experience that covering open ground with one is not a particularly amusing way to pass time.

    Jeff - Tucson