A Cleaning up the garden and adding silage tarp

Today there was a break in the rain. It has rained and rained and rained and rained. We finally braved the mud and muck and headed for the garden...well, part of us.... It is February and I was inside recovering from a nasty cold and one of our daughters was at home nursing a sick child. The remaining semi-healthy ones finished the garden clean-up. Chickens have helped some this winter, but we still needed to remove the posts and wire from our tomato and bean trellising. This is one of those times that I love watching the kids work together.

The ground was so wet, that the posts came right out. The wire and posts are stacked by the edge of the garden waiting for new planting.

Then, we covered the entire area with more silage tarp to prevent weeds. There is a row that is still uncovered, because we did not have quite enough silage tarp. Silage tarp is HEAVY, but it works much better than other things we have tried and we can hopefully use it for several seasons. We stick a shovel through the roll and unroll that way. One of the kids anchors it at the other end and we start in the middle and unroll.

After you have it rolled out to length, you can cut the tarp, and then we just spread it out.

You can't tell from the angle just how much is covered with this picture. But, it's hundreds of feet long and width wise there's only a small section of the garden not currently covered.

We had a small section left at the end, so we just picked a small problem area to cover over by the asparagus.

There's still a gap, but we plan to cover that with cardboard that our local coffee shop recycles along with their coffee grounds. We pick them up weekly and dump them on our mulch or compost piles. The cardboard smothers weeds around trees and disintegrates after the season is over. It is a part of our continuing battle with bermuda and Johnson grass. Those two grasses are relentless. I have been told to spray it with Round-Up, but we do not use herbicides. I figure Adam did not have it in the original garden so why should I use it if I can do something else.

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