A Garden in 30 Minutes

Today was beautiful. The sun was out and the temperature was in the low to mid 60's. That's what I call perfect garden weather! I didn't have much time to garden but needed to do a little something and was able to spend about 30 minutes on a small project. Back in the fall I used my black tarp technique to cover an existing bed and the results were great! The black tarp technique helps to kill off vegetation underneath it. It triggers seed germination, growth, then kills the plants off leaving a nearly weed free environment. I learned this technique after reading The Market Gardener (Amazon Aff Link) and it really works. It took me less than 30 minutes today to move the tarp to a new location in the garden, rake the dead weeds out, level the soil, and sow new seeds! It's really very simple. I didn't…

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Black Plastic Tarps in the Garden

This week I began testing a new (to me at least) gardening technique! Using black plastic tarps in the garden to kill off the weed growth underneath. The concept is simple and is something that I read about in The Market Gardener by Jean Martin Fortier (Amazon Aff. Link). I highly recommend his book, especially if running a CSA is something that interests you. (My review of The Market Gardener) What do black plastic tarps in the garden do for your garden? The black plastic attracts heat from the sun which warms the soil. The heat underneath the tarp triggers germination of weed seeds in the soil. Weed seeds germinate! (under normal circumstances we don't like this but for the tarp technique we do!) The plastic blocks light and moisture from getting to the weeds. The weeds can't survive without the light and moisture and die. After a few weeks…

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Crossed Branches and Pruning

When pruning shrubs and trees there are certain characteristics you need to look for to determine where to cut, how to cut, when to cut, or even what to cut. It's like a good mystery movie with the who, what, when, and where! One very important thing to watch out for is crossed branches (this would be a who). Crossed branches are branches that have grown into a position where the bark rubs against the bark of another branch or trunk. Crossed branches can rub when the wind blows gradually scraping away the bark and causing damage. If left long enough the branches will gradually merge together possibly making the form of the plant look a little less desirable. The other day when out in the garden I took a short video that demonstrated what it looks like when branches cross. It happens fairly frequently and even more so with…

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