Dealing With Weeds

If you hear someone say they are purely organic and have no problem with weeds, they are LYING! Weeds are the bane of the organic gardener/farmer. They sprout up everywhere and are so hard to keep away!

I have a very long fieldstone walkway with a step, across the front of my house and around the corner. I installed it myself over the last three springs. While I like the look of it, I do have a problem with weeds growing between the stones. I know, I could have put something between the stones, like mortar, but...well, I didn't and I probably won't either. That project is finished, done, written off and completed as far as I am concerned. I have moved on to other things, however, I do have to deal with the weeds.

I have been just sitting down on the rocks and pulling them or digging them out with my little spade. I have read over the years that vinegar mixed with a little dish soap will kill weeds and that pickling vinegar will work the best. I have looked here and there, sort of, for pickling vinegar and not seen it anywhere and I use the antibacterial dish washing liquid and am not sure that it is the same stuff. These things considered, I just have not tried it before today.

A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law told me that she uses vinegar on the weeds and grass that grow in her driveway and it kills them fast and dead. So much so that she has to be very careful with the overspray as it will kill anything it touches.

After that bit of info I decided to try the vinegar thing. She uses just cheap, plain, white vinegar so that is what I bought too.
I poured some into this little sprayer for the little weeds on the walkway and driveway. If you live in town, you probably think these weeds on my walkway are big weeds and this is a big weed problem. Trust me, you haven't seen weeds until you live in the country!

These are the little weeds around the chicken houses and the next ones are the little weeds under the deck.

I sprayed all of these today with that little sprayer full of vinegar, well about 4 sprayers full of vinegar, but I got them all sprayed. If it works and they do, indeed, die from it, I will get out the big gun and fill it with vinegar! 

Then I will use it to spray THESE weeds:

I have battled burdock and thistle since we have lived here. If I can just spray them with vinegar and they will wither up and die, I will be thrilled!

Garden Friends

This lady lives in my garden! I took this picture of her yesterday. She is a Garden Spider Argiope. They are also called "corn spiders".

Garden Spiders are not harmful to humans and eat mosquitoes and any other bugs in the garden, most of which eat your plants. I'd love to have one living in my rose bush next June when the rose chaffers make their appearance or in the hibiscus plants when the sawflys show up! I wonder if I can move one to the rose bush in the spring...

They are not at all aggressive and will usually only bite you if you handle a female with an egg cocoon in the web. Even then, the bite would be no different than a wasp or bee sting. They are not poisonous and reports of them biting humans are rare. They prefer not to leave their web unless absolutely necessary. They spin the most beautiful webs with a "Z" across the middle, which can sometimes get as big across as 2 feet! This dense center section is consumed every night and rebuilt in the morning.

The female builds the webs and lays the eggs around the edges of open sunny fields. They tend to stay in one place most of their lifetime, which is 1-2 years. They mate once a year, after which the male dies and is consumed by the female.

I have seen several of these around my field and back garden this year but this lady is the biggest I have seen so far. Isn't she beautiful! I leave them alone as much as possible, but come on, I have to pick the ground cherries!

I have a lot of garter snakes too, and love them! I just wish Shadow and Abby (the kitties) would leave them alone. Abby, in particular, seems determined to bring them home with her! Bring the mice home dead, leave the garter snakes, please.