Weeding day

Weeding potatoes

A cool, gray, peaceful day of WEEDING. Lynn and Raechelle combine hoeing and basic hand weeding to pull up a nice mix of pigweed and lamb’s quarters, with a little mallow and orchard grass for variety. I did paths with the wheel hoe. At the same time, we checked for Colorado potato beetle eggs (orange clusters on the undersides of leaves)—they’ve been here for a week or more, but so far not in troublesome numbers. It’s slow work, but satisfying in the end. The potatoes are growing abundantly with all of the moisture (which isn’t a problem so far), so much of what’s weeded now won’t be coming back under the expanding leaf cover. That’s nice.

4 thoughts on “Weeding day”

  1. I know it’s hard work but there is something satisfying in knowing that someone is doing this essential work by hand and not resorting to GM crops or herbicide sprays.

  2. Hi Mike.  Thanks for the answer on the burlap.  Here’s another question that I’ve had a hard time finding an answer to…it’s been my sort of “ethical dilemma” for the past couple of weeks.

    I’ve been on the potato beetle hunt as well.  Haven’t found many adult potato beetles, but have found LOADS of mature ladybugs.  There are “enough” eggs on the potato plant leaves.  The question is:  how can you tell if the eggs are from potato beetles or ladybugs/lady beetles?  My googling and insect guides report very similar descriptions of the eggs with minute differences…but no photos or scale drawings, or lifecycle timelines that I can use to compare well enough.  So, at this point, I’m removing all egg deposits.  I’d like to be more selective, though, and spare those good little girls! 

  3. To keep weeds down I use straw (stems with no seeds) not hay (hay has seed heads) to cover my garden of garlic.  Use enough to cover the ground around the plantings.  For garlic I use up to 6 inches as a mulch and it works great to keep down the weeds.  It also moderates the soil temperature, not too hot, not too cool and conserves moisture requiring less watering.  After harvest it can be turned under or left where it is to keep weeds at bay. I bought my garlic seed a couple of years ago from a great guy and wonderful resource, Bob Anderson.  Look at his pics showing straw in his garden and notice the lack of weeds! http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/gardenyear.htm
    Also see http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=2295   You’ve got a great blog/communication tool going on here… keep up the great work.


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