Weeds are my nemesis.
Jon tilled our field in mid-May. Two weeks later, the thing was blooming green — and it wasn’t my veggies.
“You have got an absolute weed garden,” Jon declared.
We’ve tried a variety of methods — hand-tilling, hand-pulling, electric tillers, Jon even came in with the bobcat to level the rows that still haven’t been planted. And mulch, mulch, mulch, I know, I know. But the garden is SO huge, and mulch is SO expensive… And I can’t put down mulch on those newly tilled soils until the seedlings come up, right? Because we direct sow and don’t transplant…
And it’s not broadleaf weeds that are my main problem, but grass, which plants wide heavy roots that are impossible to pull up by hand. I bought a garden hoe, but my aim is imprecise and I’ve done a fair share of unintentional corn hacking. And the electric tiller is fantastic, but the field is so rocky that rocks constantly get wedged in between the blades, putting the little engine at risk for burning up. It’s also a little wiley — I’ve accidentally killed a lot of squash plants in recent days.
The tool that I’ve found works best is the Weasel 3-in-1 Corkscrew Action Tiller Pro that I picked up from Lowe’s. It’s alright on big broadleaves, but magic on grass. Twisting the tool through the soil is a bit of a workout, but that’s not too problematic unless it’s one of those 85+ degree days out. It sucks the dirt out in breakable clods, freeing the grass and its roots so that you can dump them in a bucket and dispose in the compost.
But it’s still a process. And a lot of sore muscles.