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Misplaced Plants in the Garden

  • Subject: [cg] Misplaced Plants in the Garden
  • From: "Jim Call" jimcall@casagarden.com
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 22:16:15 -0500

This year, because of the abnormal amount of rainfall we are experiencing, we seem to have an abundance
of misplaced plants, a.k.a. weeds in our garden.
Before spring planting next year, I am determined to resolve this issue.
Our garden has about 2000' ft of planted rows.
Here are some of my options:
A -- Use newspaper (sections).
        Pro: No cost.  Promotes recycling in the garden.
               Can be tilled in after season.
       Con: Very labor intensive.
B--   Use commercial grade (25 year) landscape fabric
        Pro:  Easy to roll out, can be used year after year.
        Con: Costly. 
C--  Rolled heavy duty brown wrapping paper.
        Pro: Easy to roll out, can be tilled in after season.
        Con: Haven't determined cost yet.
I will not use:
Broken up cardboard boxes.
    Pro: Easy to acquire
    Con: Too labor extensive to prepare and install.
            Not sure if it will degrade enough to till in after season.
Plastic in any form.
Option B can accomplished via donations to purchase landscape fabric.
If I go with Option A, I will have volunteers paper tape each section together prior
to Plant Day (this is the option I am leaning toward).
By properly laying down this weed barrier and leaf mulch, I can eliminate many
hours required to remove the weeds within the rows. Our volunteers love to harvest, but
weeding is not at the top of the list of enjoyable tasks.  Such is gardening.
Actually, most of our volunteers do not own a hoe or know how to use one.
When I first moved to Huntsville, Alabama, within the first week, I witnessed two
strange events.
While checking out at a 7-11. a guy with pocket protector actually pulled out
a slide rule to calculate his purchase.
A few days later, I noticed the neighborhood news delivery kid was throwing newspapers from
the passenger seat of a Corvette driven by his mother.
I thought, what planet did I land on?
Thanks for any input to the weed barrier options,
Jim Call, CASA Community Garden Volunteer Dir.

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