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Defeat Diabetes
Foundation
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  

Shirley's Organic Vegetable Garden™   

By Shirley Barriger
July

Musings on Weeds

My vegetable garden is growing and so are the weeds.  A few days delay due to rains made the grasses, thistle and all other weeds get a jump start on their life of robbing moisture, sunshine and space from the vegetable plants.  Fast, tough and common—that’s all it takes to earn a plant the name of weed.  But any plant growing in the wrong place—especially if it’s growing there in abundance is a weed. 

I have maple tree seedlings that sprout throughout my garden and they are considered weeds.  I used my roto tiller between the rows and my hands within the rows to remove the weeds.  We’ve been receiving plenty of rain these past few weeks so I will have to be on a weed patrol weekly to stay ahead in the battle of the weeds.  The garden ground did not get worked under last fall so the weeds have become quite a problem.  There again a proven fact that it’s good to do fall tilling!

I helped two of my granddaughters, ages seven and eleven years, plant a small garden next to mine and they are learning the importance of weed control.  They were surprised how much of the root lies below the surface of the ground and why it’s important to pull the whole weed out.  They are quite proud of the emerging vegetable plants and can hardly wait to eat the veggies.

In a previous article, I wrote about saving seeds from pumpkins so you could plant them the next year.  Well, I saved butternut squash seeds in 2006 and discovered them in a kitchen drawer while cleaning this year.  Guess what?  I planted them and the percentage of germination surprised me.  They grew better than purchased buttercup squash seeds that I bought this year!  So, save some money by saving seeds from winter squash and pumpkins.  I also save seeds from my flowers, such as zinnias, cosmos and bachelor buttons.  When the flower is done blooming and begins to dry, pick it and let it dry completely and then separate it from the stem.

If you have any questions about gardening, review my archives as I have covered many subjects.  The main goal of the column is to encourage you to do the best you can.  You may not win every battle but you will win the war.  Every garden produces some vegetables and any failures are a learning experience.  Happy gardening!

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