Archive for picture of baby papaya

Reclaiming the Garden

Posted in Solutions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2010 by PickMeYard

There’s nothing I could say about weeds that hasn’t already been said.  Everybody is looking for the solution.  I think the best solution is to learn to tolerate them… to a point.  I’ve been educating myself recently on which ones are actually edible.  A surprising amount of them can be eaten by humans.  I was weeding today and worked up the nerve to nibble on some purslane.  It wasn’t bad at all and I was pleasantly surprised.  Grayson was thrilled.  He won’t eat brocoli or spinach but he thinks purslane is delicious.  Kids are hilarious. 

I bought a fantastic book recently at the Seminole Indian reservation called “Healing Plants; Medicine of the Florida Seminole Indians” by Alice Snow and Susan Stans.  It’s the first published record of Florida Seminole herbal medicine and ancient healing practices.  It explains the uses for quail’s foot and lizard tail.  Don’t get excited, they’re just plants.   I just love to learn about nature’s remedies.  I’ve gone off my topic though.  My topic is about removing the weeds and reclaiming my garden space from them. 

This was my vegetable garden about a month ago. No, I don't work in my garden everyday during the summer. I haven't done much work in it this summer at all... too hot.


This is my vegetable garden today. I reclaimed it. That's cassava in the picture.


The clear plastic I put down will solarize the soil.  The heat generated will kill the weeds, diseases and pests (especially nematodes) in the top soil and make our garden ready to plant in September (or early October).  It isn’t the ultimate solution though because the plastic breaks down rather quickly and then it goes into a landfill.  This method works best for me because I don’t have to use any chemicals (which I despise) and it gives me a reprieve from pulling weeds for a couple of months.  It actually gives me a much-needed break from the vegetable garden and keeps it looking tidy.  I tend to use this time to focus on my fruit trees and add manure around their bases.  The summer rains wash away a lot of nutrients. 

This was the garden bed yesterday.


This is the garden bed today. It could probably be described as back-breaking work. I think it makes the food taste better and be more appreciated.


Even after all the weed pulling, there are still weeds coming through all the cracks around my garden beds.  I can live with these.  They always go away in the winter anyway.  One of my big problems this summer was the eleven different kinds of mint we planted.  Grayson and I loved it so, so much.  Everybody told us not to plant it in our garden but we wouldn’t listen.  I rationalized it by saying that it would crowd out the other weeds that I didn’t want and every step through it would smell like mint.  It did smell lovely but it sent runners underground in all different directions and spread like fire.  I pulled every bit of it up and out of the garden. We will keep it in pots from now on… lesson learned. 

The African basil is thriving in the heat. The bees are all over it and dash madly from flower to flower.


Honeybees on the African Basil.


The papaya trees are loaded with blooms about to set fruit.


The coneflowers love the summer heat.


Sugar cane in our yard. We've given it a large area.


Our little banty chicken (the boss) has been extremely broody. We put the fertile duck eggs under her because the duck is not interested in being a mother.


We had to give broody "Sweet Pea" her own box because she was causing a traffic jam.


This is a new addition to the family. A friend gave her to us because she said it was time to get her out of the house. This young hen has been thoroughly socialized by watching T.V. with her 3-year-old in the living room. There are too many predators outside her house.


She is the sweetest little hen ever! She just wants to be held.


Our predators are inside our house. This lazy predator won't even kill a roach.


It's the dog days of summer alright.


The garden is always changing.


Come grow with us!