Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ode to Joni Mitchell

I’ve mentioned a few times that I don’t use insecticide or herbicides here at Auntie K’s Garden.  I get rid of bad bugs with a bucket of soapy water and my dandelion digger—cuz, I don’t want to grab them with my fingers!  And, I get rid of the weeds by hand – pulling them out by the root.  Like Joni Mitchell said so well, “Hey farmer farmer, put away that DDT now, gimme spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees, Please!” 

Sometimes, I get behind with the weeding, and a passerby or a neighbor will comment.  A few weeks ago, a neighbor stopped by to admire the garden.  She turned around and her eyes got HUGE as she said, “My, that’s a fine crop of dandelions you’ve got!”  It’s true.  It has been a bumper crop of dandelions this year.  But, I don’t want to use weed killer… So, I “deadhead” them staving off the seed heads, and dig them out when I have time.  But, I need to come up with a new plan because there are just too many.

One of the local nurseries had a post on FB about using a flame thrower to kill weeds!  I thought about this idea for about 30 seconds before determining that the mulch might catch fire and I’d have a bigger problem than a fine crop of dandelions on my hands.

But, I thought about the “heat” aspect of the flame thrower and thought boiling water might work.  I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I will (at some point this summer) and let you know how it goes.  And, if you’ve done it, I’m curious to know how it went.

A fine crop of dandelions  :(
A few years ago, I used heavy brown paper under my mulch.  This method was a TOTAL failure. It looked great for the same season, but the weed seeds had NO trouble popping through the following year.  And this year, I have a "fine crop of dandelions."  So… as much as I don’t like to use it in planting areas, I’m going to use landscaping fabric in the non-planting areas like walkways and patio areas.  Before laying down the fabric, I’ll double dig and get rid of grass clumps and dandelion roots (and any little tree-lets).

Do you have ideas for getting rid of the weeds but leaving the birds and the bees?  If so, post a comment and tell me how you did it!

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