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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Clearing a Shady Area for a Garden

In the very back of our property we have a shady area.  It's about the only shady area that has occured naturally in our landscape.  A mixture of walnut, sassafras, hackberry, and maple trees create a shade area that until recently was completely unusable!  It was a problem area in our landscape which I thought would make a great subject for my next Lowe's Creative Ideas project.  Why is this area a problem?  First of all it's an area I would like to utilize for growing more plants (mostly heucheras and hostas).  But also because it has housed a couple invasive plants that really need removed from our property: Japanese honeysuckle and poison ivy!  Brushy area in the shade in need of clearing. Poison Ivy mixed with Virginia Creeper I'm sure you know why poison ivy needs removed.  Fortunately I am not allergic to it however that doesn't mean my…

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5 Gardening Aggravations!

Aggravations are sure to enter into everyone's lives at some time or another and when we think of aggravations as a part gardening a whole lot of subjects arise! In fact this list of 5 gardening aggravations that I'm about to share with you could extend well beyond the necessary 5 items for a Friday Fives post.  It could even be material for future posts on the subject - which would result in quite a few future posts!  Today I'll list the five gardening aggravations that are on my mind at the moment. Feel free to suggest a few more in the comments below. 5 Gardening Aggravations Drought - Drought conditions are all over Tennessee at the moment.  The grass is crinkly and brown and even the drought tolerant plants we have are showing signs of stress.  Drought tolerant means they can deal with these conditions not that they enjoy…

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