Tag Archives: weeding

Expansion Woes and Spring Plans

October 9, 2014

When we expanded the garden this summer, it was insanely hot and I still had a newborn that ate every 2hrs or so. Admittedly, I was not very diligent to make sure the cardboard covered all bare spots.

Where the garden edge and the grass came together, bermuda grass started coming through…with VENGEANCE! DSC_5598I tried numerous things but eventually, I had to move all of the mulch aside, cover again with cardboard (and newspaper, for good measure) and recover with more mulch. DSC_5597This is the area dug up, before it was covered with cardboard, etc.

Hopefully, that will take care of that pesky bermuda grass.

Plans for Spring

If you know me, you know aesthetics are just about as low on my priority list as anything can be. However, my girls love flowers so this year, I decided to order some perennial bulbs. Now to figure out where to plant them.

I thought they would look nice as a border to the garden. I also thought they would look nice bordering our brick walkway. I have to plant them when the daily temps are in the 60s. Right now, most days are still in the 70s/80s. While waiting, I prepped the edges of the brick path with newspaper and mulch.DSC_5569The next step is to weed the brick path. It got REALLY bad this summer. I have a feeling it will be an all-winter chore. You can see in the picture above the small section I have gotten done. The other winter chore is to expand the path (with mulch) to the driveway. We had a nice path but when we got a HUGE storm this spring, it washed away all of the mulch onto the brick, which helped the weeds tremendously.

This is what I ordered. That’s 244 bulbs. Who wants to come help me plant in a few weeks?

(photo credit)


Getting Things DONE!

June 4, 2014


This week has been all about weeding. Normally, there is not much weeding to be done in the Back to Eden garden. However, the round of storms we had last month washed away a lot of mulch. Uncovered ground (dirt) + a lot of rain = TONS of weeds 😛

I have been going out little by little every day and weeding each section of the garden. It looks great now 🙂 Of course, if I do not cover the bare patches with more mulch, it will all be for nothing. To get the motivation up for that…

The chickens have had limited greens because the chicks are still little enough to get out of the tunnel so they have really enjoyed the fruits of my labor.

My daughter has helped some, especially with all of the wild onions. The other night, I was weeding a section of the garden when I hear, ‘Oh look, another onion!’ I look behind me and see my daughter has pulled one of my onions our of a raised bed (NOT where wild onions grow) that I grew from seed!

I have never grown onions before. It was something new I was going to try this year. I think I was able to grow about 10 successfully from the 100 seeds I planted in the greenhouses and transplant them. This one was the most impressive one. The others are not very big yet, so she didn’t see them. I replanted it right away but assume it will die 😦 so I told her to take a picture so at least I could remember how pretty it was… 😉DSC_4314Trellises

Another thing on the TO DO list is to put up trellises for the tomatoes and make the fencing for the pinto beans higher. That finally got done the other day when my husband was home from work.IMG_8094(Stakes in…) IMG_8241 (fencing up – 5 rows of tomatoes & 2.5 rows of sweet peppers)IMG_9185(stakes up for volunteer tomatoes (and my daughter’s on the far R with 2 green tomatoes already!)) _DSC1261(only had enough fencing for one side. I’ll have to figure out something for the other side.)

This is the ‘overflow garden’. Notice the apple tree on the left & right. L to R, there are two sunflower circles: yellow and then red. As you can see, the red had spotty germination. Both are new seeds from the same company. I wonder why…

There is a patch of unplanted area behind the red sunflower circle. I think I am going to plant some sweet potatoes there. I have so many slips, I am looking for more and more areas to plant them so they don’t go to waste!

The volunteer tomatoes are planted where the stakes are. In front of them are marigolds and behind them are bush beans.


I still had some more tomatoes to transplant and some volunteer marigolds 🙂 For some reason, the marigold seeds I planted in the tomato/pepper patch did not do well so I was thankful to see some volunteers from last year!_DSF9589Marigolds

I transplanted some tomatoes into pots. I have never had luck growing in pots but I had so many extra tomato plants, I thought I would give it a try. I planted the rest in the ‘overflow’ area of the garden._DSF9627Speaking of volunteers, we have some volunteer watermelon!!!_DSF9574 I planted some watermelon seed but it never germinated (was in the raised bed that does not like sprouting seeds). We saw these plants (and a couple more!) next to the tomato patch just the other day when weeding. A bird must have eaten our neighbor’s seed from his garden (he plants watermelon every year) and left us with some presents 😀 We are very excited! 🙂

Greenhouses…Lessons learned:

The only greenhouses that did well were onions planted mid January, tomato and sunflower seeds planted at the very beginning of February, and cool crops planted at the very end of February.

None of the celery seeds (planted mid January) sprouted, none of the seeds planted mid-February did anything,  nor did any of the other seeds (non-tomato) planted at the beginning of February.

I am going to do a number of things differently next year:

  • Duct tape the greenhouses (seal them) – you are supposed to and I did last year but did not this year
  • Put labels INSIDE the greenhouses (maybe the snow and rain won’t wash off the label so I can tell what was planted)
  • Wait longer? I feel like maybe some did not sprout because I was impatient with planting times but the blogger who does this year after year says they need to be in the winter weather in order to become stronger plants so…idk.

So the last TO DO chore for this week was to clean out the greenhouses and put them in the shed (so I don’t have to beg as much next year 😉 ). Once that was done, I could do a final weeding of the garden and breathe…until I realized I needed to plant the next round of succession crops AND plant up all of the sweet potato slips before the end of June.


I planted lettuce, kale, carrots (which the cat promptly scratched up), cucumbers, and zucchini this week. Next week, I’ll plant some bush beans but my main goal for next week is to plant all of the sweet potato slips! I want to have them all planted up by mid-June. Quite the lofty goal…we’ll see how it goes…

Ahhhh! I feel very productive each day, as I am getting a lot done in the garden…but it just doesn’t seem to end! When can I JUST harvest 😉 That would be nice 🙂

In Over Our Heads

February 28, 2013

I am a perfectionist, definitely. If I do something, I want it done the right way (ie. my way) 😉 Therefore, I try not to do anything at which I will not succeed (don’t jump into things at all). I am very cautious.

As far as the garden goes, over the past six years (since we’ve been in our house) we have implemented new sections little by little so we do not get overwhelmed but as soon as I get pregnant (which has happened quite a bit) or as soon as heat sets in (we are in North Carolina), it becomes harder to keep the weeds under control, harder to keep up with the harvests, and much harder to keep up with all of the processing (even though we freeze & dehydrate more than we process/can).

The Back to Eden Gardening method of mulching heavily is supposed to help with weeds. However, we have Bermuda grass that crawls under whatever barrier is put up and will pop up anywhere (even has popped up through our asphalt driveway!). Therefore, I know there will still be weeds that need to be pulled so the plan was to just do a small garden this year and work from there.

So, we set up our small garden this past fall (newspaper, cow manure, 6″ mulch).

February 24 13 - 0115Can you see the sticks? they are marking rows (not enough manure to spread evenly & deeply but enough for 5 10′ rows)

Then, this winter, we burned a big brush pile and thought, ‘The grass is dead, and the pile is where it stays moist even in the summer – might as well make this into a potato patch!’ (cardboard, no manure available so I’ll add as I plant, 8″ mulch)

February 19 13 - 0007

Then I decided to make a small garden in a very shady place in our yard so I could maybe grow cool season veggies like lettuce even during the North Carolina summer. (cardboard, chicken manure, 6″ mulch)

February 24 13 - 0111

Then we decided to order chicks because the mulching of the Back to Eden Garden is great but chicken manure makes a HUGE difference. So we have 21 chicks coming next week.

Did I mention my SIL gave us a gift certificate to a seed catalog so we are ordering NINE raspberry plants in March that will need to be planted & watered until they are established?

Umm…I hate to say this because children are a blessing from the Lord but I hope I don’t get pregnant this summer! This is insane! I am very nervous! I have some plans written out…like showing the kids how to weed and every other day letting them weed a section of the garden…

I hope I don’t regret doing so much at once! If any of you want to come over and help this summer, we’d love to have you! We’ll send you home with lots of blueberries and hopefully other veggies as well! 😀

This week, I’m linking to Simple Lives Thursday. Check it out! There are some great tips to be found!