Friday, August 31, 2012


I may have mentioned a time or two this summer how sad the garden has been.  Sad for me, that is.  Those goddamn rabbits seem to have been pretty happy in there.  But me?  Not so happy.

I haven't even posted any photos.  If I had, what you would have seen was almost the entire garden space (and that is a REALLY BIG space) covered in weeds literally as high as my head.  Sometimes higher.  Plus that evil ground cover weed with the little white flowers that just takes over.  Really.  It was a garden of gigantic weeds.  It was awful.

After some good rain a couple of weeks ago, I started the long process of reclaiming the garden by yanking out the tall weeds.  Mostly pigweed, with . . . some others I can't identify.  I pulled them out by the roots, sometimes digging them up with a shovel if they were really enormous and too big to yank up by hand.  I spent HOURS pulling weeds, cramping my hands and crippling my already-taxed back.  They were so big and numerous that I just pulled them and threw them into a pile, figuring I would dispose of them later.

Then A. tilled where the potatoes had been and I raked the weeds left behind into yet more piles.

The piles grew and grew and I started to wonder how the hell I was going to get all those weeds into the gully.  Many of them had already set seeds before I pulled them, so there was basically a huge pile of weed seeds in the middle of the garden.  I didn't want to pick them up and have all those dried seeds get scattered all over.

And then I had my inspiration: fire.

Yes.  Cleansing, purifying flames.  Burn those bastards to the ground.  So yesterday afternoon, A. lit the piles of weeds on fire.  It was a beautiful sight.  Let the smoke take away the failures of 2012 and leave us with a brand new garden for next year.

There's lots left to do, more weeds to pull and burn, tilling to be done, cover crops to be sown.  But we've started the process and that makes me feel much, MUCH better.


Chiot's Run said...

Biochar!!! Gotta love it. I was reading a book about the founding fathers and their gardens and I guess there was one of them that believed everything should be burnt at the end of the year to cleanse the fields.

Love burning weed seeds, it's like final redemption!

tu mere said...

After our conversation yesterday you know that I know how much you worked and suffered over your weed pulling. Wish I could have expended my energy on your garden. That makes more sense then just weeding for aesthetic reasons, although my neighbors probably are happy I did my work here. How about you save some work for dad and me when we visit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the outstanding posts!

Anonymous said...

Divide and conqher.....maybe you could have set the wholle thing on fire and not pulled them?? Burning off a field, they do that around here. I know you are relativley young , but don't hurt yourself. Beth

FinnyKnits said...

Oh to burn it all! Out here in the burbs, fire is a total no no, but I'm glad someone is taking advantage of the cleansing power of fire to beat the weeds. Next year's garden will be great.

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

That's damn awesome.

There are so many fun things you can do in the country that you can't do in the suburbs. Just so many...

Diana said...

Heh, we just give the weeds to our chickens as straw in their coop. They tend to eat most of the seeds, much of the rest gets decomposed... well that's how it's supposed to work anyway.

We just had a baby too, and left the garden completely fallow this year. It was depressing as hell to look at - waist high weeds you couldn't even slog through, swallowing our little tool shed. But I got out the weedwhacker and mower, I bought some roundup (I swore I'd never use it but dang it, i don't want to remulch all the pathways), and we might even get some fall planting in!