Saturday, June 28, 2008

Steps backward, steps forward

You go out of town and take time to recover, and next thing you know, you're overrun.
I've been weeding different spots around the house every day since my return, but I should have started with the vegetable garden instead of leaving it until today. Eek! Really should've mulched.

Anyone have a favorite mulch for vegetables?

Luckily, some of these weeds are actually edible. Thanks to a couple of recent posts by doggybloggy at Chez What? I feel more confident cooking up some of that ubiquitous purslane, or verdolagas (click for his recipe, with video!):
And lamb's quarters.
The arugula is soldiering on despite an infestation of flea beetles. Any good ideas for dealing with them organically?
They don't prevent me from harvesting and eating the stuff, in any case. I had a big salad of it a couple of days ago.

On the positive side, I was excited to see that some of the tomato plants are setting fruit!
Clockwise from the
upper left, that's
Early Girl,
Amish Paste
and Stupice
(thanks, Susan!).
The peppers are also flowering.
That's a thai bird chile on the left, and paprika on the right.

I got a lot of the weeds out in a marathon session, which left me pretty exhausted, since it followed marathon sessions of weeding the flagstone patio and then all the way around the sidewalk.

(Where I was horrified to find some caltrop burr plants at the corner that had to go immediately. That's a picture of the burrs at right. They will puncture a bicycle tire or make your dog go lame. The "caltrop" has an interesting history. I wrote about it here.)

So I'm tired! And I didn't do any of the flagstone-laying I had planned for today. Oh well. Something got accomplished.


  1. wow I remember those..we called them 'goat heads'and they hurt.

  2. I used to cal them that, too, or devil's head burrs. I discovered they're also called caltrops when I was researching the caltrop nut. They're wicked.

  3. I have tomato envy. Yours are way ahead of ours. I don't have weeding envy though. I've been doing a lot of that myself, and also continuing to prune tree suckers that have invaded some of my flowers. I would be ruthless and use SuckerStopper, chemicals notwithstanding, except that the car likes to hike around in the flower bed.

    Claire @

  4. Lamb's Quarters make a super tasty salad - they are my almost-favorite raw green (second only to baby spinach). And Finny Knits (awesome blog at got rid of her flea beetles with soapy water. She didn't go into any more detail - maybe she just sprayed them?

  5. Claire, your tomatoes will catch up soon, I'm sure, if it stays this hot! What kind of tree is suckering? I'm still battling raspberry runners, and Virginia creeper, in addition to all the usual suspects.

    Does your car leave tire tracks in the beds? (I'm teasing.)

    Wendi, that's something I considered. I don't want to mess with the taste of the greens too much by using pepper spray. I'll check out Finny's blog. Thanks!