Monday, July 24, 2017

What Weeds?

 I opened the greenhouse door for my guests, and heard, "Your greenhouse is... ah..."

"She won't let anyone cut down the weeds," was someone else's response.

To which I asked, "What weeds?"

I do believe they were referring to the soil amending regenerating mulch and green cover crop of native annual plants that colonized the greenhouse.  

During the spring and early summer I regularly used my trusty garden shears to trim pathways to the plants that I was harvesting and tending.  But, in the last few weeks, I've let the pathways have their way, and even without being watered or babied at all, they have grown to several feet tall and have dark green healthy leaves.  They haven't gone to seed yet, so I've begun to smother them with bedding taken from the goat shelter.  My theory is that they have added lots of organic matter by growing roots in the greenhouse soil, and once they are smothered under a thick layer of old hay and goat poo, their leaves and stems will add even more good stuff to my garden soil.  And I didn't even have to plant them - they grew there for free!

It rained on Sunday.  While the world was soaking up the much needed rain, I escaped the drizzle inside the greenhouse.  I stayed busy spreading the piles of goat bedding I had dumped just inside the door, and admiring the marigolds and tomato plants which are still holding their own amidst the jungle.  A little bird fluttered around inside, and slipped out through the chicken wire wall.  Spiders watched me work from their webs strung from the ceiling, and little moths and butterflies flitted among the leaves.  

I was well fed as I perused the isle of cherry tomatoes.  A thick layer of hay laid down when they were planted has kept them fairly weed free.  The tomato plants inside the greenhouse look much different than the giant green monsters growing outside.  These spindly plants with some yellow and spotty leaves starting making tomatoes very early, and are still producing.  I think they didn't get watered as often as the plants outside, and they have to deal with the extra heat even with the plastic up on both sides.  I didn't fertilize them with my manure tea concoction either.  

My favorite this year are these super sweet little orange tomatoes.

The lettuce plants that fed us salads all spring have gone to seed.  I think I could save these seeds, and have enough seeds to plant the greenhouse full next year.

Lettuce seeds look like tiny dandelions, with fluffy tops.  

The little red lettuce plants make pretty purple flower scales.  I have several different types of lettuce seeds now.  I think I'll mix them all together and next year it will be a surprise lettuce garden.

One of the permaculture books I read over the winter said that most gardens come into their own during the fifth year.  Although I was experimenting with the garden during our house renovation years, this is only the second summer that's I've been in attendance.  Each year, the boundaries get a little more clear, but now that I have so much organic matter from all my animal friends, I can see how I will make faster headway.  Maybe the greenhouse in 2020 will look more impressive to guests.  Although, I though the weeds were pretty impressive this year!  

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...