|Our backyard 'weed box' and future chicken coop location!|
In the end, we left the weeds be and covered them, which has provided us with a temporary reprieve. But, I know they will be back...
Right now, my feeling on weeds is just that: let them be! Perhaps I will feel differently about that statement later in the summer. And of course, we don't want the weeds to crowd out our garden vegetables, so they will need to be maintained somewhat. We're also going to be experimenting with growing some ground cover and then using it as mulch in order to help reduce weeds. However, if you're trying to grow a lot of vegetables like we are, striving to maintain that perfect appearance is stressful at best. Some may think that leaving a few weeds is a fine theory for those out-of-sight gardens, but what about the front yard garden? The one everyone will see? This was part of our dilemma in deciding to put most of our front yard to growing vegetables instead of sod. Sod helps to cover up the weeds and disguise just how many you have. A garden can be less forgiving that way.
|Our front yard project: Step 1: Top soil delivered. Step 2: Plant vegetable Seeds.|
Just when I was beginning to doubt our plan to grow veggies in our front yard, I came across a lovely section of words in Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest, that provided me with the determination to follow through with our plans,
"Regard the weeds as the soil savers that they are - in essence a short term green manure. Their roots have aerated the soil, and their tops will add to the bounty of the compost heap. Move ahead, get out the seed packets and plant something new."Look to the benefit of weeds, and not the negative - that is the underlying theme of what he is saying. This idea really resonates with me, and deep down inside, this is how I feel about weeds. The constant digging up and pulling feels like I'm fighting a pointless battle. Perhaps we could just allow some weeds to exist in the front yard. Dandelions are my new favorite edible 'weed' and other plants that grow wild around here, like clover, have other benefits such as being able to fix nitrogen into the soil. I'm sure if I understood more about how each of these weeds might be of benefit in the garden, I would feel less inclined to get rid of them all. While I will always hate quack grass, I think I could learn to like some of the others in my garden.
Linked to A Moderate Life.