Friday, March 4, 2016

This Week in the Garden: The War of the Weeds

This week in the garden has been one of reaping and refreshing.  Most of the seeds heads have finally been harvested and separated out for replanting after our autumn soil work or in the spring, variety depending. I will share a seed post soon. Most of the spent veggie plants have been removed, but my hot chilies are still growing well and ripening so they are enjoying a reprieve from the end of summer clear-out. It is the first week of autumn here, and the days are still sunny and warm but creeping noticeably shorter - hope is fading fast for my one wee little watermelon...maybe I'll have better luck next year. 
After weeks of woeful neglect, I finally fully weeded everything (it took days!) and will be turning, fertilising, and (edible beds excepted) bark mulching now that our puppy has grown into a mature young gent who can be trusted not to eat it.  I have definitely missed mulch through the hot dry summer. Pea straw definitely helped keep things cool through summer in the berry patch (gated away from the dogs), but it also seemed to increase weeds significantly and I was less than impressed with my surprise pea shoots.  Live and learn!  The edible beds will get a little extra TLC before replanting with a rotation of autumn-sown veggies, but no mulching.

We have such a great growing climate, but fungus, disease, and pests seem to be loving our recent weather, making it difficult for green gardening.  You've seen many a rant in my weekly garden shares about pests (still fighting!), but fungus has started to become increasingly problematic through weather conditions and pest assistance. It has been a hard battle against powdery mildew through late summer and I saw a few sneaky speckles of rust when clearing the weeds that will need similar attention. Other gardeners had been lamenting this season as particularly bad for rust and associated crop losses, especially onions and garlic, so I guess we are lucky it has only crept in now between planting cycles.  Suggestions on treatment, control, and prevention are always welcome!  

What's happening in and around your garden this week?  Whatever your garden/green news, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or post us a message on the GiRL Facebook page I look forward to sharing our garden with you as it grows.  

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