To be kind to myself, I’ll say that I at least deserve an A for effort. Right?
It’s obvious. My solarizing attempts just didn’t work.
To be clear, they worked to the extent that they warmed the ground and provided the perfect environment to make everything underneath sprout. But then they just kept growing. The growth rate underneath the “sealed” plastic exceeded the bare dirt rows adjacent to them!
Where did I go wrong?
1. I didn’t properly seal the edges. I started by hammering down the plastic with landscape pins, first only in the corners and finally every foot or so around the perimeter and along the interiors. When this wasn’t enough, I threw huge rocks on top of the plastic for good measure. And I buried the edges. But still, I failed. The wind has been absolutely ripping through Missouri the last few weeks. It’s a nightmare. It makes me so unbelievably grouchy I could scream. It whistles through the house, it tangles my hair, it sucks stray receipts from open windows and tumbles them through parking lots. And it snuck through the invisible crevices along the garden plastic’s edges, filled them with air more powerful than the heated gas of a hot air balloon, and fanned the plastic across the garden.
2. Also. Also! Last week Jon had a hundred or so cows transferred from one field to another and–surprise! The most direct path was via the road that runs parallel to my garden. Despite the efforts (though I question how much effort was actually invested) of the cattle guys and their genius border collies, the cows trudged through the garden, ripped up the plastic, and stopped to shit all over everything, too. Wonderful. So not only has the plastic been blown off the ground, but it’s been ripped by cow hooves, too.
Don’t even get me started. As I put it to friends, Jon and I “exchanged words.” But it doesn’t fix it. It doesn’t mend itself. And the labor that goes into laying down that much plastic, especially now that the spring winds are blowing through the country, is too exhausting to repeat again. So that leaves me with this. My accidental weed greenhouse.
I haven’t eliminated weeds. I’ve turbocharged them. I’ve created a veritable greenhouse for them.
What else can I do?
Laugh. Laugh it off.