I have a few raised beds that I plant the “early” stuff in. Onions, garlic, spinach, lettuce these are usually my choices for my raised beds. About halfway through the summer I move my interest from the raised beds to the actual veggie garden. Consequentially, weeds start growing in the raised beds. This year I am going to remedy this problem. A few days ago, I planted my spinach and I am testing out a new technique. I am a little afraid… oh we will get to that later. Here is what I did.
First, I dumped in all the compost that I have left after my compost experiment (check out compost hits and misses). Yes, there are pieces in there. Some eggs, pumpkins with seeds, coffee filters, other odds and ends. No, it is not completely composted and that is ok because it will finish decomposing right there where it is. I have lots of worms in this bed.Next, I started applying mulch. This will stop any pumpkin seeds from germinating along with blocking any weeds from popping through. Then I took my pruning shears and cut 3 rows in the mulch. This took a little time and effort. I had to tuck, squeeze, and separate mulch as much as I could to make 3 distinct rows
- There is no way a single weed is getting through that mulch.
- I can use compost that is not completely decomposed.
- All the other benefits of having used mulch, soil moisture, hay will decompose and add to the fertile soil.
- I am worried that the seeds will be shaded too much by the mulch to germinate.
- I would have room for 4 rows of spinach instead of 3, without the mulch.
If it works, I will be thrilled and I can keep planting spinach and lettuce using those same rows. If it doesn’t work, I will have learned another gardening lesson (mulching seedlings is a must, mulching seeds does not work). You have to experiment sometimes. Whats a garden without an experiment or two in the works?
I will have an update soon!
The Farm Wife