From the mailbox, Owen T. wrote in and said he controls weeds in his squash garden by overlapping the vines so those big squash leaves shade the ground to discourage weed growth, as well as using cardboard, something other commenters like Lisa Bailey also utilize.
Roberta Lacefield (quite the fitting name for a Good Gardener) prefers a tidy garden when she can have it, and can usually take out all weeds at once by mowing along the edges of her beds, then placing first carboard, and then a layer of hay overtop.
Welcome back to Good Gardening! In our Week 6 discussion, we wanted to know how our Good Gardeners manage the forces of chaos and order in their garden, particularly with wild things like animals and weeds. As always we took the conversation to social media and shared pictures and anecdotes.
Our Good Gardeners handle chaos in different ways, and what struck the GNN team this week is how positive everyone’s solutions were.
Brad Rowland plants edible weeds, like (his suggestions) lamb’s quarters, amaranth, and dandelion, and suggests to try and plan out every square inch of terrain before the season starts to give weeds as little room to grow. Eliza Cain utilized chaos in a different way. This season she let her garden grow almost entirely from plants which she let seed from last year, and judging from the colors it was a grand idea.
One of our weekly contributors, permaculturalist Monica Richards, wrote in to note how she prefers “controlled chaos” in her raised beds for a number of reasons.
“We have many kinds of critters who go through my gardens, and having a natural diversity can help keep some of your important veggie plants safe. Half of my work here is observation, so I often allow what some people call “weeds” to grow if they provide shade to plants next to them, or if they flower, attract bees to them as well. The only time I pull something is if it’s actually not allowing other plants around it to thrive.”