Monday, April 25, 2011

Tractor Work

Easter Sunday turned into an absolutely beautiful day, so while our holiday dinner cooked, the entire family went out into the 2nd Garden plot to work.

Grammy weeded, I planted, Ryan tilled the soil (for the third time this year!) with the tractor, and Gramps "spotted" to make sure Ryan didn't accidentally back into a fence or something equally bad (we have a strict rule on the property: absolutely no tractor work unless there is someone else there to watch you!).

If you've ever read "Little House on Prairie," you may remember that in the last half of the book you hear the description of a "sod garden" - this is basically what we have here on the property. No amount of tilling (and never mind trying to weed those two ENORMOUS areas!) ever gets rid of the grass completely. The point is to work the soil enough times BEFORE planting in order to give the garden veggies time to outgrow the grass.

I once had a rather rude guest snippily ask me why I "'let' my garden go to weeds?" After promptly smacking them (I'm just kidding, though the thought was indeed tempting!), I replied that there is no "letting" the weeds in. It's more a matter of, after a certain point, you just give up and let the weeds do what they will, because the vegetables are large enough to out compete them. Considering that every year I have an enormously varied and successful garden harvest, I don't think that I'm doing anything wrong. Clearly, the grasses aren't choking out the plants to a point that affects my harvest. In any case, we have found what works best for us in our garden, and that is the method we are sticking to. In the end, that's all that matters.

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