Sunday, June 17

In the Garden: Hair Clips and Weeding by Lantern Light

My ONLY corn seed to grow.
The little man has a book which begins "In the garden, many things are growing..." Indeed this is true for my vegetable gardens this year, however, weeds are definitely included in that all encompassing description of "things."

I have had very poor luck with germination this season - especially beans, peas and corn. This is the second year in a row that my first planting of peas and beans has failed to germinate more than about 15%. In previous years they did wonderfully - it was as if I could not fail. But the past two years have resulted in a very poor germination rate in the first sowing, and not a great showing on the second sowing either.

I have used the same brand of seeds from the same company since I started gardening. I rotate the crops from year to year. Maybe it is time for a soil test and some serious amendments?
My corn is by far the most disappointing, but it was also the most predictable failure. I have never been able to grow corn here. It just will not germinate. I have tried different areas of the garden but I never get more than a few stalks. This season I decided to try again given that we all love corn on the cob.

I planted 4 rows, each 8 ft. long. I got one plant. ONE. I am open to suggestions on how to make corn grow. And I can not believe I just typed that.

The raised beds are doing fair. The radishes and carrots are coming up, if a little sparse in patches. The lettuce is also coming along, with a larger percentage of sparse sections. I think a re-sowing of the lettuce is on tomorrows schedule. The poultry netting over the raised bed hoops seems to be working in keeping bed bugs out while letting the bees in.

Hair clips - cheap, easy, reusable and durable.
I had some trouble figuring out how to attach the netting so I could be able to get in to weed and harvest. I decided to clip the netting on one side so that I could pull it back to access the bed and then put it back in place when I was finished. I ended up using hair clips for this. Just plain old hair clips from the basket under the bathroom sink.

These smaller ones are the perfect size in circumference when closed to fit snugly around the geo-thermal tubing used for the hoops. They hold the netting in place firmly, they don't move around, and when I want to access the bed I just unclip them or slide them up the tubing. They work perfectly!

The weeds are a problem this year, as they are every year. I remember reading somewhere that weeds like to grow in freshly disturbed soil. How convenient. I have been trying to get a row weeded every night, or during the little man's nap time. The baby comes out with me and watches from her stroller while I yank the beasts out by the roots and toss them in the bucket. When she tires of watching mommy do battle, she turns her attention to the chickens, waving her arms frantically at them with her mouth open. They stay around only because they think she might have food for them.

My one-row plan of attack is proving to be insufficient so I think I will either weed faster and dare to leave some of the small ones behind, or I will be weeding by lantern and firefly light long after the moon has risen. One way or another, I will be victorious. I may not have anything growing in the garden due to lack of germination, but at least I won't have weeds.


  1. It still looks like everything is growing great!

  2. You're not the only one to have problems with seeds. I've had problems and have read quite a few other blogs and they are having problems as well.

  3. Don't know if you read this blog but here is the link to the comment section. Pretty scary as this no seed germination is happening all over the US.