I’ve made some progress in my green garden. It’s called that because along with greens such as lettuce and kale, I use this small area for nurturing plants that haven’t found their way to the front yard, or other small area in my gardens. That being said, check out how to prevent weeds, from the get-go. I have found a great way to check rampant, sloppy growth, while having a place to direct not only my feet, but visitors – excluding my dog and an errant rabbit or two.
As you can see, newspaper pages make great walkways. Although at first it looks like something blown into the yard during the night, it is actually the beginning of a pathway through the area. Newsprint stays put once it is wetted down with either a hose or just the rain from the sky. It eventually disintegrates into the ground, making you, the worms and the environment very happy. First, I made a mistake last year and didn’t put in enough pathways. I plant very closely, so that each lettuce or kale touches its neighbor, preventing weeds from germinating on bare soil. This doesn’t hurt anything, and lets you pick young leaves right away. (Stay tuned for writings about succession planting…)
Your paths should be placed so that you and your dog can easily walk through, maybe the width of a page from said newspaper. Lay out the newspapers, a few pages thick; here is the fun part – as you squat, sit or bend at each turn, you can pull your weeds and other debris, and place it on that newspaper! This not only helps to weight it down, but adds to the composting and mulching that is ongoing all season. It stops sunlight from reaching the weeds, and creates a small subclimate that keeps the soil clean and neat. So try placing that newspaper, recyclable only, please, and see if it makes a difference in your garden. It may make it easier and more inviting to tend and get some food for your salads and culinary creations, this summer and beyond.
All the news is good when you work with nature!