Everything is growing in the garden right now, including the weeds. I have been told that a weed is just something in the garden you do not want. I also realize that there are people that tolerate and even embrace dandelions. I know it can be used as food and medicine. I respect that. Maybe it comes from my own ignorance as to how to properly contain and utilize the dandelion, but for now I hate dandelions. I hate them because they grow so aggressively, in places I don’t want them and can be difficult to remove.
So this time of year I am obsessed with dandelions. I want them gone. I want to pick them everywhere I see them, which IS everywhere. It’s a losing battle. Even if I get rid of most of the ones in my yard, if I walk to the edge of my driveway, they are all over the neighborhood. It’s potentially maddening, because no matter how many I get out of my yard, my neighbor’s dandelions will inevitably turn into weed seeds and blow back into my yard. Don’t worry, you won’t find me in my neighbor’s yard, picking their weeds. I’m not that crazy.
By next month, I’m sure I’ll have forgotten about the weeds. I’ll be resigned to live with them or I’ll be focused on something else, but right now, I am a woman obsessed, with getting the weeds out of my own yard at least.
Today I did a lot of weeding of dandelions, morning glory (that’s another thorn in my side) and the appropriately named, flick weed (ugh, I hate those too). I’m trying to get a jump on the weeds this year, so maybe they won’t be so bad later.
I also did a little thinning of my beets, which I enjoy way more then weeding.
If I am planting in rows, I always plant several seeds per hole, to make sure at least one germinates. That means I will have to thin, down to just one plant per space, later. It’s important to thin, so the plant has enough room to grow correctly. It’s especially important to thin root vegetables, so this doesn’t happen:
I do like this photo though. I call it “Carrots in love”.
I have heard people say they don’t like thinning plants because it feels like a waste or they feel bad for killing the plant.
Plant thinnings can always be added to your compost pile, but if you have chickens, you can also feed your thinnings to your chickens.
I use suet feeders to feed my chickens extra stuff like thinnings or leftover veggie scraps. Suet feeders are great because they hook right to the chicken wire. If I pack it full of something more solid and harder to get out, like cabbage, it can keep them busy for awhile.
My chickens love beet thinnings and it’s fun to watch them eat them, because they eat them so fast! This suet feeder was full of beet thinnings when I started taking pictures. I was only able to get a couple of good photos before they had eaten all the thinnings.