Thursday, July 14, 2011

Around the Yard: Weedless Gardening

How the week has flown by! We've been busy weeding, harvesting and preserving - with an emphasis on weeding! We've spent so much time weeding that when I saw the book, Weedless Gardening by Kee Reich, at our library I checked it out in hopes of finding some time-saving tips. What follows are his three guiding principles:

  • Mulch, mulch, mulch
  • Don't till the soil
  • Irrigate only what you have to; ie: drip irrigation

Given that there are approximately 140 weed seeds per pound of soil, the more the soil is disturbed, the more the seeds are exposed to the elements they need to sprout: sun, water, and air. Avoiding tilling eliminates sun and air, mulch eliminates sun, and drip irrigation eliminates water. Reich claims that his method reduces weeding time down to just five to ten minutes per week! My goodness, what would I do with all that extra time?!

Here is how our garden is growing this week (you can check out last week here):

 Red tomatoes, your days are numbered!

 Itty bitty zucchini.

Green bell peppers not too far off.

Chamomile is finally starting to produce flowers.

 An assortment of things: Chineese cabbage, lobelia, melons, 
chard, celery, and cucumbers.

 Isn't flowering arugula pretty? 
This is our first time letting it go to seed.

 Leeks, more lettuce, more melons, carrots and parsnips.

 Our beet box: this contains an assortment of heritage beets including Golden Detroit 
(yellow root), Chioggia (red & white concentric rings inside), Bull's Blood and Cylindra.

Russian snow peas hide our compost bin. 
Front and center: two varieties of kale.

 Still haven't been able to bring myself to eat
this pak choy. It just keeps getting prettier.

 The star vegetable of the week: broccoli. Our first ever successful 
harvest - thank you floating row covers. I am disappointed that we did not get those lovely 'button' heads. From what I have read, this is a cold related problem. Next year we'll have to transplant before the last frost date.

 Getting the broccoli ready for supper.

 Sautéed garlic scapes and broccoli stems in coconut oil: yum! 
Tomorrow night we eat the florets.


franticallysimple said...

Your garden is lovely! I wish ours was doing so well. It's been such a cold summer this year...

Allison at Novice Life said...

Wow that Pak Choi is beautiful! I wish I could get hubby to be not such a TILLER freak!!

Daphne said...

That pak choy is stunning. I know how you feel about picking it. The good thing is that if it does start to bolt it will still be food. I've yet to find a pak choy that loses its flavor when bolting.

Jen Caputo said...

Oh that pak choi!!! And your sauteed garlic scapes and broccoli looks delicious. Beautiful garden!

~~Rhonda said...

I enjoyed touring your garden! It looks beautiful! Do add some mulch. You'll do less weeding and your plants will enjoy their cool feet. :) ~~Rhonda

Anonymous said...

Your vegetable garden is tasty and pretty at the same time. The recipe you made sounds delicious! :)

Carol said...


Jean said...

your garden is beautiful! Just goes to show that plants are interesting and pretty even without blooms. Even better, you get to eat yours!

Pam said...

I've never seen arugula bloom! Thanks for linking up!

Dorothy said...

I love the blooming arugula!!! Your garden is beautiful =)

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so good! I totally agree with the no tilling comment. The soil's organisms and biology and structure get messed up every time the soil is tilled. Tilling once when starting a new bed is fine. After that just top dress with organics and mulch and let the earthworms and good bugs and everything else do their job.