After seeing my sister’s garden this past weekend, I felt a little guilty about not finishing the book Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich, which is the current, and final, selection of the Garden Blogger’s Book Club.
My sister could use a little help to control the weeds that came up in her vegetable garden, “the minute her back was turned”.
I won’t show a picture. It’s not her garden’s finest hour, believe me. And she's family and I make it a practice never to show something 'bad' from a family members' garden.
Otherwise, they won't let me take any pictures of their gardens.
But here’s a picture of a weedy garden…
I don’t know where I got this picture, wink wink, but it isn’t one of my garden!
You can kind of see that there are some tomato plants in there. If you squint when you look at the picture, you can see them. And that bright green on the edge of the flower bed is basil, I think. (Who just now squinted to try to see those tomatoes? Show of hands.)
The rest are weeds. Weeds that took advantage, obviously, of getting a little light and a little air and a little rain.
Boom! They just take over, don't they?
I did look through Weedless Gardening enough to know that there is some good advice in it for minimizing weeds in the garden, hopefully to the point that a few minutes a day (or more depending on the size of your garden), should keep the weeds away. Yes, I think you would still need to embrace weeding, just not so much weeding. Now that would be nice!
Like others who have written similiar books, Reich outlines four key points that help support a weedless garden, and then goes more in depth on what to actually do based on his experience in his own garden.
1. Minimize soil disruption. (Don’t let those weed seeds see the light of day or breathe the air of life.)
2. Protect the soil surface. (Mulch)
3. Avoid soil compaction. (Don’t stomp around in your planting beds.)
4. Use drip irrigation. (Water the plants you planted, not all the potential weeds.)
I do think this is a good method, and one I want to try maybe as early as yet this fall. But it will still take time to prepare the new planting bed because even though I wouldn’t be tilling the soil, I would be covering it with newspapers and topping it with some kind of mulch. It’s the “topping it with some kind of mulch” that will take some time! And time requires a window of opportunity, a WOO, of more than an hour or two at a time.
Who doesn’t need more gardening WOO’s in their gardening life?
Did you catch that I wrote above that this is the final selection of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club?
That’s right, I’m shutting it down, packing it up, finishing it off. It’s time to move on.
We had some good times, didn’t we? Together we read books by Henry Mitchell, Elizabeth Lawrence and Katharine S. White, Karel Čapek, Felder Rushing, Charles Dudly Warner, various garden mystery writers, Eleanor Perènyi, Beth Chatto and Christopher Lloyd, Michael Pollan, Elizabeth Lawrence (again), and Robin Chotzinoff.
But it's the right time to move on. Many thanks to all who joined in. I hope you enjoyed the selections and through the book club you were encouraged to find and read GOOD gardening books. There are plenty out there, and I’m going to keep reading them and posting about them as time permits. (If you just had a thought that you'd like to try to keep the Garden Bloggers' Book Club going, send me an email, let's discuss.)
Now don’t get this confused with Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! That is definitely not ending and will continue as long as I have a garden. I hope others will continue to join in as well, always on the 15th of the month, rain or shine, winter or summer. After all, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.
I just wish we didn't have to have weeds, too.
(The mums pictured above have nothing to do with this post. I just thought today, of all days, is a good day to show some pretty, bright flowers on a blog post, and not just a weedy garden.)