Me either. I am always looking for ways to avoid weeding. Masanobu Fokuoko, a Japanese natural farmer, says we should not pull weeds. He says that weeds come for specific reasons and they have a great purpose. It is interesting. I put some 2 year old sheep manure on some flower beds last year and this year, lambs quarters have sprung up in hoards. Lambs quarters are edible weeds, highly nutritious and very good for animals and humans alike. I made a delicious salad of them the other day and plan to stir fry some tomorrow. They are better than kale or spinach, even. Anyhow, if you follow Mr. Fukuoko's way of thought, the weeds come to heal the soil. Lamb's quarters are shallow rooted, but lambs quarters grows prolifically where the soil is already rich in nitrogen. That makes sense since I enriched it last year with a huge dump of manure. By turning lambs quarters under before it goes to seed, that nitrogen remains available in the soil for the plants to come.
So, in the garden, I scraped off the sod, and what little topsoil there was and put down well rotted manure, then fresh composting straw and then the soil and sod. I later hand picked and raked most of the sod out, leaving behind the little bit of topsoil that there was. It is enough to plant a garden.
The new composting hay will provide warmth and the well rotted manure will provide nutrients, but only for deep rooted plants. Dandelions have deep roots. I dont like weeding the garden so I will leave them if they do come, and besides , they are good to eat and the root is great for many herbal treats too. I have even contemplated making dandelion soap!
I planted a variety of heirloom and non gmo seeds from various seed exchanges, all ordered online. There will be watermelons that ripen in 75 days, two varieties of corn, 3 varieties of carrots, lots of different lettuce, peas and beans, 2 kinds of cukes, several types of beans and squash, mangels and beets, turnips, rutabaga, oh, I am sure I have forgotten some. There are also herbs scattered through out and broadcast over the vegetable plantings. I recall self seeded dill in the garden of my parents and it just sprung up everywhere. It is necessary to make fermented dill pickles. Yum! On the edges inside the bales, I placed potatoes a friend gave me from his last year's garden that he did not eat. I left them outside so they would get a head start and start to sprout and they did. They were laid on the soil and covered with rotting straw. As they grow, more rotting straw will be laid around them. That is a clean and easy way to grow potatoes. Just remove the straw and voila!
Tomatoes are planted on the south side of the house where it remains hot and sheltered. Now, if we don't happen to get frost the first week of September, I might just have some delicious tomatoes this year. There are flower seeds scattered in the garden too, because the flowers attract pollinators and are pretty to look at.
Depending on the success of the garden, there might be enough to sell even, at the farm store. Wish me luck and rain. We got some rain yesterday evening, about an inch and a half, or 3 centimetres. Everyone was praying for rain, because the area is so parched. It was what I was waiting for to plant the garden and more rain is expected in the next two days. Perfect! To sing an old song, " Inch by inch, row by row, I'm gonna make this garden grow." Yup, I am.