Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friable soil, can you dig it?

Yesterday it was barely warm enough to work outside for a bit. I ran right out to my treasure trove.....

Can you believe it? We got a whole stack of broken down boxes. 

One of the more irritating things about this property is that we have that weird, invasive weed garlic mustard. It's everywhere and it grows when nothing else does. I'm constantly battling it in the gardens.

With all our poultry and pets there is no way I'd just use herbicide. This year my goal is to smother it. This is where the cardboard comes in. Yesterday I laid it out all over ones of the gardens.

I doubled it over so anything under it will die! Die! Die! I hope.

The next step is to shovel out the chicken house and put that barn litter on top of the cardboard. By the time the planting season comes around I'm hoping to have nothing but weed free, friable soil just waiting to be planted.

Friable soil, can you dig it? Yes... yes I can.

Unfortunately my outside work day was cut short when the wind kicked up. I was able to give a hard trimming to the peach trees. So either they are going to be magnificent and will be loaded with fruit... or I killed them. We'll see.

We have another huge cold front coming thru and one of those weird days when we've already had our high temperature. There are windchill warnings for later today. I need to figure out something to do with the goats. Later this week we may hit a new 100-year record for low temperatures.... well below 0*.

I have two bad choices with the goats - put them back in the Turkey House which they will continue to destroy - or put a heat lamp out in the Goat House and risk them screwing around and burning the whole place to the ground. For whatever reason Dahlia is just a maniac right now. She has taken over being the Herd Queen from Debbie - which does not bode well.

Ratty Nibbles and goofy Daisy.

Nibbles just looks terrible and her attitude is worse. Don't worry - that's just her under coat coming out - like Bubby. But wow... lookin' bad, Nibs.

Happy Thursday, everyone! Did you get outside to work a little be before the next cold wave?


10 comments:

David said...

I'll be interested to see how quickly that carboard breaks down.

You know you can eat at least some of that weed? Of course you do.....

have a super day

Heavens Door Acres said...

Oh boy. Yesterday I was able to get a few things done...it was all warm and soppy muddy, but I didn't care. IT WAS WARM! Today, not so much. 14 degrees with winds out of the North, gusting to 30 MPH. HOLY SMOKES it is COLD! I think I will play in the dirt today...potting soil. :)

Michelle said...


good idea with the cardbord for a weed barrier. we've used it in gardens here too. hope your goaties keep warm in the cold spell coming. i think we're in the same zone (5?).

Vera said...

Oh now I didn't know anything about this plant, so I looked it up on the Internet and found some info about it, and very interesting it was too. We have some plants here, but they are not too much trouble, so I shall pay closer attention to them to see if I can get a harvest from them.
As for the weather, we are up from the -3's and enjoying warm weather, which is a real treat and takes away the misery of smallholding in the freezing cold. Winter is not over of course, but at least it is on the last lap!
Hope your goats behave themselves!

Wildcard said...

Talk to me about the cardboard. Will it really break nd own by May/June? I intend to use this method to start a garden bed, but I didn't get to it in the fall.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey Dave! Yep but there's TONS of it... and the chickens wont even eat it. so boo!

HDA - yeah we are in store for a cold couple of days.

Michelle - thanks! and yep we are zone 5 also.

Wildcard - the cardboard probably will NOT be broken down by planting time (but would have been if I started this last fall) but that is fine. I'll just move it out of the way and plant in between. the cardboard will then become the pathways to keep those weeds down. easy peasy!

Nancy po said...

We've use cardboard too, over heavy turf in clay soil. Worked great! We actually just planted above it with compost. It's been unusually mild here, hoping for a more normal set of weather soon, or things may get ugly in the garden with the pereenials.....

Nancy po said...

We've use cardboard too, over heavy turf in clay soil. Worked great! We actually just planted above it with compost. It's been unusually mild here, hoping for a more normal set of weather soon, or things may get ugly in the garden with the pereenials.....

Wildcard said...

Thanks! I will be trying this as well. I love the cardboard path way idea and have been planning on using that, as well.

carolyn, here in frozen Ohio said...

I use cardboard, too. The only problem you will have is that the weed SEEDS that haven't germinated now and are insulated enough to stay viable in the soil (God only knows how long) will germinate once the cardboard is deteriorated enough to allow enough light to germinate the seeds...later. A pre-emergent or a corn gluten based amendment will help with that problem. A pre emergent needs to be put down and watered in or rained on to make it work. It works by killing the seed as it begins to send out its little root. I have garlic mustard too. I am constantly pulling and weed eating them down. I need some goats, but I don't want the hassle of them. or don't your goats eat this stuff? they eat everything don't they?

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