|top left corner, planted lettuce seeds...|
My *organic* garden was overtaken by bermuda grass last year.. well, over the past 2 years.. and probably before the raised bed was even there. .. but this year, i decided it HAS to go.. it takes over everything.. right now it is dormant, and since we live at the northern edge of where it grows, its probably 80% dead. I HAVE to get it out before it starts growing or we might as well give up. So.. the past 2 days i've spent a couple of hours with a good old fashioned hoe, digging it up, and pulling all the roots and 'runners' out .. I have to go down to the bottom of our raised bed to get under it and then make sure i get all of the live-looking roots and runners OUT of there or they will regrow. Yesterday the wind was blowing 30-40mph ... which made it easier to throw to clumps of roots far far away but made everything else a little bit more torturous. I have to go back today and see what I can accomplish before a cold front comes through tomorrow and it [supposedly] starts raining. For probably 4 hours work, you can see how far i got.. and how the rest of our garden looks like a lawn.. and how the other gardens don't look like that! Nearly all of them were abandoned last year during a particularly extreme mid summer heat wave.. Plus, last year we were the only organic garden.. no weed spray + super hot summer + water = extra strong bermuda grass .. I'm also killing a bunch of grubs and overwintering pests as i dig up this mess. The garden behind ours in the picture is also ours.. It doesn't look like a mess, but it is.. and I can't just dig it up, because it is full of strawberry plants and while they took a serious hit from the drought i think they will come back if i can get the weeds under control.. As soon as i'm done with the bermuda i'm going to move over there and do some good old fashioned hands & knees weed pulling. The beginning of the season has never been this much work for me before.. it is sounding like a full time job and it better pay off with a bunch of organic produce this summer (and less work next year). Oh and in case you're wondering.. this mess of roots and runners and missouri rocks would be quite the challenge with a tiller too.. nothing i could handle so i'm stuck doing it by hand.