Not everything always goes as planned. Sometimes you go on vacation, or the weather is terrible when you are off work, or you are sick or whatever – and then your garden beds get taken over by weeds and overgrown plants.
So, how do you recover an overgrown garden bed?
Pure hard labor – no other way around it. But you can make it a bit more enjoyable if you take the time to look around. A good stool helps too. Jennifer snapped this shot of me while I was working through the darn cogon grass (with the best garden sheers ever) that just will not stop growing. However, some Virginia Buttonweed (a weed many people will try to get rid of) is growing here too and we hope that it will spread out as a ground cover and perhaps shade out the area and help us knock the cogon grass back. Hopefully.
You can also see that the lime and lemon tree are still alive and well – but are needing a bit of support, which is to be expected with nursery trees – they are always too tiny to support the fruit they will produce. Only good support, pruning and time will correct this.
One thing you can just about bank on is that if an area “goes back to nature” it will surely have a lot of insects and other bugs around. We saw this awesome and dedicated honeybee buzzing quickly from one blossom to another on our HUGE Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) plant (which we planted from a cutting only earlier this spring). We saw a solitary bee working the basil as well, but it was working it so quickly that none of the pictures where good enough to share – proof that you just need to get out there in the garden and see some of these things for yourself!
Jennifer also spread out some dill seed (Anethum graveolens) from the dried seed heads, but first ran into this awesome caterpillar that was hanging out. Is it beneficial or a pest? I have no idea – but seeing it is something that makes the dreary work of weeding out a garden bed more enjoyable. We saved back a little seed, mostly to share, but the rest went right back into the bed to lay dormant and grow back again later. Next year we should have a big bunch of dill and we can start making dill pickles with it.
The area around our strawberry beds, and the strawberry beds themselves, were also quite overgrown. You can see just how big the weeds were if you look for the cut stalks back behind the raised bed. But now that has been cleared up and the beds themselves cleaned out. Some of the strawberries (the Chandler variety) are doing better than others, but of course it is mid-summer, so we do not expect the plants to do much more than survive.
But strawberries are not the only thing we planted here. When you sow a few dozen seeds you expect to harvest a few dozen plants, if not more. In our case we inter-planted some carrot seeds with our strawberries. Only one carrot grew – this cosmic purple carrot. Perhaps due to some lack of nutrients it didn’t really fill out all the way down the root, but what did fill out will be enough to complement a meal for the family – so it is a small harvest, but still one we are thankful to have.
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