Upkeep - My Garden Journal

in Natural Medicinelast year (edited)

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I tip my hat to all gardeners and homesteaders. Being months into this now I can clearly see for myself how much work it is.

This is the first time I have ever done so much maintenance and upkeep on my own. When I helped my parents with their garden and yard work it wasn’t as hard because I didn’t do the main jobs. This time around my husband and I are doing everything to keep things growing nicely and looking good around the house.

I’ve been waking up every morning between 6:30am and 7:00am to beat the heat and go water all the plants and veggies. I pick out weeds and trim at least twice a week (more on that later). It is quite the work keeping up a garden.

Thankfully my kiddos are always volunteering to water for me so that helps. They are also outside with me in the evenings so I have little tasks for them to do and they don’t mind at all. They enjoy being outside and having the chance to see how everything is growing.

Everything I share with you today was from two weeks ago. All of the plants in this post have grown much more since then. I’ve been documenting and keeping my journal up to date it’s just finding the time to prepare my posts have been a challenge.

Stacey (the woman who lived here before us and who has been teaching me a lot about gardening) was telling me that eventually I would have to stake the stargazer lilies because they grow so tall and need support. That time arrived and I spent a couple of hours getting it done.

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I had the kids help me grab up some nice and sturdy sticks from the woods behind us. I know many people buy these types of things but I’m all about saving money and using what we have around us. This also helps me keep my brain sharp by coming up with ideas.

After sticking the stick in the ground and making sure it was right against the plant, I used white thread to wrap the sticks around firmly.


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I did this even for the little ones. They were slightly leaning as well...

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The ones in the front of the house are thicker and taller. The stems on these are like mini trees. It took more effort for me to get these done. As of today I need to get out there to reinforce them again already.

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Now, about those ruthless weeds I mentioned...🥵


I have had a time trying to keep weeds out of our garden. Just when I thought I had it somewhat under control these little stinkers start showing up everywhere...

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I know that in order to keep them away longer they need to be pulled by the roots. Well geez, it was taking way too long using a tool to do this so I got to reading.

I learned that pouring boiling water on top of weeds will shrivel them up and weaken their roots. We don’t use chemicals especially near our food so a natural way was the only way. 🙂

It’s true! I poured the steaming boiling water on top of all of them and the next day I came out to this...

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It would have been even better if they melted and disappeared altogether. 😅

However, I am pleased with the results because it made picking them a lot easier. I didn’t have to use a tool and the roots came up so so very easily.

So if you have stubborn weeds that need weakening, your solution = boiling water. 💦

Note: Just take care that you don’t use the boiling water too close to your plants. The ones that were too close to my plants I had to pick them by hand. It’s hard to determine where the roots start and end so please be careful if you try this method.

In other news guess what’s peeking up from below? Our strawberry leaves!!!

I am so excited to see these strawberry leaves popping up in several places. I look forward to sharing with you the first strawberries we sight. 🍓😃

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Well we must be doing something right. This ant family built their home right in front of one of our strawberry sites.

These little creatures are the strongest, hardworking, clever and determined species on the planet. I don’t think there’s any other insect that has better teamwork than they do. I just want them to stay outside and stop trying to come in my house. 😁

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That’s all for now. I’ll be updating you on how our veggies are doing next week. We ran into an issue but it has been resolved and everything is growing just fine again. Stay tuned to find out what it was!

What do you use to get rid of weeds?


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I am reading this… while being in the garden:-DDD And you are doing so great, this is really a lot of work I only can say yes to this :-DDD DO you have tap water or rain water? If you only can use rain water like us I would be interested how you are doing it. Our garden is very sloping and the water container are situated at the bottom, so I have to carry watering cans the hill upwards…. Not so nice :-DDDD My secret hope is that you also use rain water container and have a handy solution (like solar energy and a motor for a water pump, or a any kind of clever water distribution system…)

And with the weeds and animals :-DDD On some days I feel as if I grow a zoo instead of veggies :-D Ants are eating the rhubarb, slugs the salat and squash, bunnies the tomatoes and deer the roses. I fear I still have a lot to learn … :-DDD DO you plan to also have animals like chicken? I have read a lot of times that this helps with slugs (not sure perhaps also with ants).

Oh, well we do use tap water. Of course the plants get watered when it rains but if it’s not raining we just use tap water. I use a water hose for the plants close by and then a watering pail for the others. So sorry I don’t have any ideas for a clever water distribution system.

Wow, so many animals want what we’re growing. I still have tons to learn too.

Yes, eventually we plan to have chickens when we’re able to acquire our own land...but this will be more in the distant future.

A water hose would be our dream... (best with tap water, so I can water myself on a hot day :-DDD) I am so looking forward what you are doing with your garden and learning besides you (I sometimes feel overwhelmed because I am such a newbie with gardening, especially permaculture gardening)

I love lilies, one of my favourite flowers! They are stunning to look at and scented ones are exquisite. So beautiful sit outside in the evening when its cooler and bathe in their aroma.

Weeds now - one of the first homesteading posts I read on the other place talked about chop and drop (and I'm sure I've read @mariannewest on the same topic) - chop or pull your weeds and leave them to die on the surface, ploughing all their nutrients back into the soil. I love the destruction element of chop and drop, too, I'd be in my element with a machete! I leave some weeds right on the beds like that, they also create a mulch that helps keeps moisture in the soil, others go in the compost bin which I turn out about once a year, and anything perennial (ivy, bindweed, brambles, bamboo from next door) goes in the green waste bin at the re-cycling centre.

Glad you're enjoying your garden so much and you're right - it is busy at this time of year!

I’m looking forward for them to fully bloom so I can enjoy their aroma :D

Wow, I didn’t realize all of this about weeds. I appreciate you sharing these things. It’s good to know of these different options.

Yes, so so buys outdoors ;)

❤️

Taking care of the garden is good for the body and soul.

Personally, apart from some garden plants I also grow some fruit trees (especially oranges and tangerines) which I am eating at this time of the year.

Going back to the subject of the post, stakes are fundamental in many garden plants. In some cases they are necessary almost permanently as in the case of dahlias that have a very nutritious and heavy foliage and if they are not staked they run the risk of bending down and breaking at the slightest wind.

Others, like roses, it is enough to stake them at the beginning and then, as the trunk is robust, they grow without help.

In fact, the general rule is that plants with a woody trunk (roses, hydrangeas, peonies, etc.) need stakes only at the beginning.

While those that grow from bulbs and develop in height generally need them on a permanent basis.

Greetings and thanks for sharing your experiences as a gardener @crosheille!

Yes I found out the hard way about my tomato plants. I didn’t think they needed a stake yet but found out the opposite after a bad storm. They seem to be doing okay now after the added support.

Thanks for leaving this helpful knowledge. I appreciate your visit :)

Ok do help my mother is removing weeds from our garden my mother loves growing pumpkins and cucumbers in her garden,she makes me use hand to remove weeds from the garden.

I think using your hand is the safest (as far as not using chemicals) and probably most effective when you have the energy, patience and time for it.

Yes using hand to remove weeds is safest for the plant to avoid giving them a cut.

Garden work is hard work but it's all worth it! :) I love how your kids are also included with their own little tasks.
When it comes to stubborn weeds, we use a tool or pick them by hand as they are all around veggies/fruits but I'll make sure to try the boiling water method where it's safe. Thanks for the tip!

I agree that it’s all worth it, that fact is what’s keeping me going ;)

Thank you. They have been such a big help. It’s been fun with the whole family involved.

Yes, definitely make sure it’s safe and will not harm your plants nearby. I could only get so close so a lot of them I did have to handpick.

Remember that while the boiling water will kill the weeds, it also kills any other roots to plants nearby, and it kills the biology in the soil, needed for plant health.

I spent a LOT of hours pulling weeds, yes, GET THE ROOTS, and in the veg and herb gardens I use deep mulch to prevent weeds.

Yea I was worried about the surrounding plants but I tried my best not to get too close to them. We just have soooo many weeds and I lack the time to be out there constantly pulling them.

Thanks for the deep mulch tip. I’m still going to explore other ways to rid them.

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