About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Weeding

As I hacked my way through the jungle that used to be a tidy path between raised beds, I thought maybe I should have tackled this job sooner. Like housework, weeding is never finished, but the longer you leave it the worse it gets. The flip side of this, for both weeding and housework, is that you really notice the difference when you finally get round to it!

This is what one of my beds looked like this morning:


Can you spot the onions in there? Bonus points if you can see the parsnips too.

After spending most of the day weeding, this is what the same bed looked like this evening:


Still weeds in the foreground, but parsnips, onions and sunflowers now have their bit pretty much to themselves.

Non-gardeners often think weeding is difficult because you have to know what everything is so you don't pull up precious plants by mistake. In fact, for conventional veg gardening at least, it's not that difficult. On the basis that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place, if you know what plant should be there, telling the difference is a simple binary classification: Pea or not-pea? If you go in for companion planting, it gets a little more complicated: Onion, carrot, or neither-onion-nor-carrot?

As my plant knowledge grows this job actually gets harder. Instead of not-pea I'm now starting to see buttercup, forget-me-not, and sweet rocket. It's much easier to rip something out by the roots if you don't know its name. Mostly, everything has to go, but I will make an exception for wild pansies:


Wild pansy, hiding out amongst the peas.

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