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Preventing weeds

Tom K. and I noticed in 2010 that areas that had been tilled extensively in 2009 were devoid of that grassy weed that seems endemic in new plots. What is more - areas in new plots that had been tilled several times in 2010 and planting delayed till late were also free and clear of that grassy stuff. A possible hypothesis is that the seed beds in both cases had been exhausted before planting. 

A possible take-away: till extensively new ground before planting any new area, timing the tillings so that you kill any new sprouts.

Timing planting warm weather brassicas
If you like Oriental veggies like bok-choi, mizuna, yoi-choi, komatsuna, etc. (complete catalog  here) or other quick growing warm weather brassicas like broccoli raab (broccolini) - delay planting till late spring (May 20-June 10). If they are planted much earlier and they reach the stage were they can seed before the days start getting shorter they will bolt. If they are still maturing by the 21st of June then you have a better chance to harvest them in their glory.  The same is not as true of long growing northern brassicas like European cabbages, Brussel sprouts,etc.

Planting in beds

Beds are more work and are not for everybody. They do permit you to plant more things closer together, in a more intensive manner. If you are adding amendments they also allow you to be very targeted as to where these go.

An excellent added benefit for our location - specially those plots that have a superabundance of clay substrate - is that your plants will keep their roots dry, as the water will collect in the paths between the beds. 

Solarization for weeds

Using black plastic after the soil is tilled will bake weed and other plant seeds.  Clear plastic will work as well, although I prefer
black. I've used black plastic over the course of the summer to kill sod to make a garden.  It's very effective.


Wood ashes for beetles?

I noticed that I have little yellow and black beetles on my cucumber plants and a little bit on the squash.  I'm trying sprinkling them with wood ashes.  I'll let you know if that seems to work.  I left a bag of the ashes in the shed, if you have beetles and want to try it.

Gonzalo Silverio,
Mar 18, 2012, 3:10 PM