I Flipped The 2×6 Board Off

I flipped the 2×6 board off my newly planted row of broccoli before they could come up under it, and found two slugs. If I place boards around the garden, and keep the soil moist under them, I could probably control the slug population by just flipping them over every day and squishing the sleeping critters. I was reminded of how the Amish garden. Nature friendly. If you have aphid, introduce them to ladybugs. Earwigs and sow bugs die from contact with diatomaceous earth. DE controls fungus, molds, and blight. Mulch promotes microbial soil activity, reduces the need for water, and helps keep weeds at bay. The soil under my occultation tarp is in much need of mulch. It’s bare ground. Covering it with straw before I plant the corn would be recommended if I didn’t have enough compost.

I got my occulted corn patch covered with a couple inches of compost and put the sprinkler on it. I find myself always watering the compost in. It’s full of small earthworms that I don’t want to kill by letting it dry out. The microbes would also perish, so I wash them down into the soil. The moist compost in contact with the earth is where the gardening for success begins. The microbial excrement trickles down to enrich the soil prior to planting, and many of the microbes flow down to begin the process of feeding the roots. I uncovered a night crawler while weeding the watermelon hill. It flat out made me smile. He spends his day feeding the soil by breaking up organic matter into microbe palatable nutrients. Having moist, rich, fluffy black soil that supports night crawlers is part of what serious gardeners strive for.

I found an old, half empty can of black spray paint in the barn and decide to try “spray occultation”. There was a four foot by one foot section of Creeping Jenny encroaching on one of my gardens main thoroughfares and I was too lazy to dig it out. I could have tried weed eating it to the ground but the weed eater was all the way up at the house and it was 101 degrees out. As I was spraying it I came up with lots of reasons that this was a bad idea. First off fluorocarbon might be more harmful to the environment than Round up. For some reason I thought we stopped putting it in spray paint because of its harmful effects. The smell made me stop and read the label and I was surprised to see we hadn’t. It took many coats and a lot of spray to cover the leaves. I realized all the bottom leaves would be unaffected and just keep growing. It now looks awful. Like a strip of fresh asphalt. The coated leaves are sloughing off the paint. The internet has formulas for alcohol or vinegar based organic weed killers. I think I’ll try some.

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