We are a natural farm. I am pretty sure that the pests – weeds and bugs – in the area know this. The reason I know this is because we have so many on our property. The bugs are controlled via natural methods:
• Salt, soap, & vinegar solution.
• Companion Planting.
• Creative natural habitats to encourage good bugs (bad bug eaters).
The more difficult to tackle is the weeds. Heavy mulch works to a point; then other methods must be enlisted. This week’s plowshare…The Hand Hula Hoe!
(Handle length is about 18 inches total)
What a God send this little hummer is!
We have had the original version for over a decade:
This one is perfect if you like to stand/walk and weed around your plants. The blade scoots just beneath the top layer and slices through the weed – woo hoo!
Me, I prefer to get closer to my subjects. I get down on the ground, so I am at about eye level to my plants. The thing is for years I have used the old “hand hoe” and would not feel like I was getting very good control of things. The old ones that we have are like this:
with variations like these:
None of these is a bad method, just not the one that I/we prefer.
I have a dear friend that swears by her garden shears (scissors) and will sit beside her beds and nip off the weeds with them just below soil level. Nice, but tedious. This beauty does the same bit only much faster!
I still use a jar of vinegar for my bindweed as it comes back way to fast. This is one that I love to get right into the root. However, sometimes they move faster than I can keep up and will wrap around my amazing veggies – grrr! This is the perfect time for the vinegar!
It is easy to do:
- Find a loose branch of your runner vine or unwind some of it from your beloved plant.
- Open your jar of vinegar (we put ours in a mason jar because it is easier to use and seal).
- Place the separate vine into the vinegar for just a second or two.
- Pull it up allowing the excess to drip back into the jar.
- I like to put down several layers of newspaper or a thick cardboard before laying that dipped vine back on the ground (just like to make sure I am not leaking to anything good). Place the vine back down and let Mother Nature do her work.
The vine absorbs the liquid to the root and viola’ – dead vine! Two things to be aware of with this method:
- Make sure you do not set the vinegar part near a good plant. It may seep into the soil and kill it as well.
- Make sure you are going to have at least one good dry day to allow the moisture to go into the root. DO NOT WATER THAT AREA THAT DAY! You are trying to make sure the plant absorbs only the moisture you provided.
Hope this helps in your gardening adventures! The hand Hula Hoe can be purchased almost everywhere now. It is carried in most home and garden centers. Happy Gardening!
(Our beautiful Mock Orange Bush just two days ago!)