Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Rounding Up The Garden

It all startedwhen we moved next door into the woods to build a new house. I left behind several
beautiful sunny gardens and wildflowers along the back of the house and the adjacent woods. Then there was the vegetable garden.


For decades I supplemented the soil from an active compost pile. The soil became deep rich and loamy. It produced bountiful crops of delicious vegetables. Nothing like home grown is there?

I knew that our new home in the woods next door would require a different gardening approach. Native woodland flowers and other shade growing plants. Surrounded by giant oak trees and white pine there was really no place for a vegetable garden.




I was pointing this all out to Mrs T. Our days of growing, canning and freezing our own crops were over. We would find and patronize local farmers markets. That would be just as good and a lot less work. I especially noted that I would not miss all the hoeing and weeding. Thirty years of that was just about enough!



About that time our friend and neighbor farmer Dick dropped by. He heard Mrs T’s sad story about the end of our vegetable growing days. "Not a problem," he noted generously,
"I have 14 acres of corn on the west side of your woods. Use whatever you need for your garden." Mrs T lit up like a Christmas tree. "Oh how wonderful" she enthused. "Well ah... I’m sort of retiring from that field," I noted cautiously. Getting the "look" I piped down quickly. "Then I’m going to do it," she added..... We were back in the vegetable growing business.











From overhead you can see the emerging corn to the west on the far left. Our house is hidden in the oak trees. The deck faces the setting sun. The plan that developed featured me sitting on the deck, binoculars and adult beverage in hand, offering cogent supervisory assistance, while she worked the garden. Great idea, I thought. That lasted, of course less than a week. I was back to weeding...:(






The garden angel!









Its been 12 years now since that inauspicious beginning. Each year the garden seems to have grown in size. It apparently has a will all of its own. I can’t explain it. The soil is rocky and not very fertile but the weeds seem to grow better than ever. Till this year. I had studied the adjacent corn field very carefully. Fourteen acres and NOT A SINGLE WEED. I asked what the key to this phenomena was? Roundup its called. By mid July I was definitely losing the weed war. I thought .... what the heck I’ll give it a try. One gallon sprayer in hand I attacked the persistent little green intruders. Success. They wilted and died.

It wasn’t till a couple of weeks later that it became apparent that the tomatoes, peppers beans etc. seemed to be in a permanent sulk. Not exactly dead but with leaves curled tightly and not growing any more. Consulting my farmer friend I received the third degree. "Did you hold the sprayer nozzle within two inches of the ground? Was it very windy the day you sprayed.?" Oh oh...
Drift can be a serious problem with herbicides. Apparently one should read the directions on the container.



In light of the semi-wilted state of the national economy, perhaps next winter, when all the garden catalogues arrive, I will revive my argument that stimulating the local farmers markets is the patriotic thing to do.

15 comments:

  1. Sounds a good idea - support your local growers - lovely setting though ... Here the European Parliament has almost banned Round-Up ... not sure about the future ... I guess - charitably having the energy to get your beloved Mrs T an adult beverage and sharing that balcony - would win you lots of plaudits ... enjoy whichever way the gardening world takes you - cheers Hilary

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  2. I'm looking more and more towards local growers. Plus it also helps to cultivate gardening friends who love to share.

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  3. Hmm ... don't get me started with Monsanto.
    And be sure: Your crops do / Nature does not need pesticides.
    Rather less homo sapiens sapiens ...

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  4. Roundup/Monsanto are bad words around here. Be careful with that stuff!

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  5. It might be a lot safer to go to the farmer's market when you have round up in your hands.

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  6. Stimulating local markets is surely the best way indeed. A great post and warm greetings to you.

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  7. Oh TB--Roundup???? NO!

    Wish we were neighbors--I'm a weeding fanatic. It's my "zen" thing.
    :)

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  8. This was an enjoyable read. I live in a large town.... but we do have farmer's markets come to visit. Sadly they only come once a month but I try to get there to buy some freshly grown stuff. Greengrocers seem to have gone out of business here.

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  9. That stuff is really dangerous to humans, too. We have an organic garden and won't let that weed killer anywhere near our vegetables! Sorry to hear you've got such a weed problem. But going to the Farmers' Market sounds like a great compromise. :-)

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  10. I will second all the comments about Round-up...but if you are buying local, wouldn't that have Round-up on it too? What to do? What to do?

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  11. Had a BLT for breakfast and lunch today. People are shocked to find my gardens aren't all native species.

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  12. So what you're saying is your garden will eventually grow to be 14 acres.

    Still, hoeing and weeding 14 acres will beat correcting papers, right?

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  13. Dear Troutbirder, when I had my small veggie garden and larger perennial gardens, I managed to stay away from herbicides as my fear is what they do to the ground water. A large garden may have made me rethink my decision. But I'm with you on supporting the local farmers next year. And when you visit their booths your just might ask if they use herbicides. If so, you might wander on to another booth! Peace.

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  14. I have no luck with those weed eradicators ... and that's with no wind. Luckily I have friends who are great gardeners and SHARE !

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  15. You got some drift! It is easy to do even on a calm day. I have one sprayer that has a cone on the end...another solution is to put a plastic glove on your hand followed by a brown work glove and then dip that glove in a bucket of round up and slather it on the weeds with the glove:)

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