Thursday, May 6, 2010

Since I didn't post yesterday,

I will put up two posts today. 

But first, let me explain. No, it would take too long. Let me sum up. 

(If you get the reference, you get a pat on the back!)

So I have been blasting away at my MA project write up. If you don't know what MA means, it is my Master of Arts degree. I have completed all of my course work, and now I must finish the write up and defend and all of that. Last night I finished the first major draft of the write-up. It's about sixty pages long. Because I had to get it done last night, I opted to stay focused on it until it was done. Then it was really late and bed called. 

Two posts today. One now and one later! (Is anybody else suddenly thinking about chewy candy?)

The first one is what I will call the icing on the cake of soil cultivation. Did you know that one of the best ways to fight weeds in your garden is by cultivating healthy soil? Here's what I've learned. 

You see, I am an avid gardener. I love to have my fingers in the soil and I particularly love to have my kids join me in the garden. But I am by no means a pro. My neighbor from two doors down, on the other hand, is very much a pro. The other day I was complaining to her about the weeds that spring up from all the elm tree seed pods that fly around during the spring. So she said she never really has a problem with weeds. Stupefied, I listened as she described how she controlled weeds.

Shirley is her name. She told me that keeping the soil healthy and cultivating and nourishing it is the surest way to control weeds. Here is what she does.
Every Autumn, when the season is over, she has her husband till the garden up, with all of the dying veggie plants and some steer manure mixed in. He tills the garden well, breaking up the clumps and loosening it well.

Then, come Spring, Shirley has her husband till the garden again. This turns any nascent weeds upside down and kills their root system stone cold dead. After that, Shirley and her husband, Ted, top the garden soil with the bottom of their compost heap.
All of this activity keeps the soil's natural nutrient balance perfect, and also gets rid of the weeds that sometimes sprout from flying seeds. Furthermore, the soil promotes spectacular flowers and veggies. When these veggies and flowers grow strong and healthy, they basically do not allow weeds to come around and take up space.

As a final note, we are also glad we have chickens. When those elm seeds go flying and end up on our ground and garden plots, we let the chickens loose. Those happy hens gobble the elm seeds up-- nipping the problem right in the bud!

I'll see you later today. Remember: you can follow this blog and use Google Reader to keep up to date with the feed. You can also just use whatever RSS feed you already use. But don't keep it to yourself! Share!

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