Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight

I've been trying to get an early start each day, lots of things to do in the yard with Spring officially here. The biggest job In the Garden this week are weeds...

Purple Deadnettle or Henbit- This stuff covered our yard in Springfield when I was growing up. I'd make bracelets of the long stems and even gather a bouquet and take to Mom! She always smiled and accepted the weedy gift with a big hug.

Dandelions- Yet another childhood memory, I loved blowing the little powderpuffs of seeds on a breezy day... sharing the seeds with all of the lucky neighbors! It's taproot goes to China, making it difficult if not impossible to pull.

Chickweed- This lime green succulent spreads like wildfire and mowing, fuhgetaboutit! It clogs the mower up and kills it... that first mowing each spring is a long one just because of this weed.

Johnson Grass, Crabgrass, Bermuda Grass,they were the bane of my Mother, she spent so much time pulling these weeds from our yard. She refused to give up, even though THEY were winning! Thus starts the beginning of the growing season for all us gardeners, fighting the good fight.You basically have two choices: First you need to identify the weeds and then- A. Apply the appropriate herbicides either BEFORE they germinate or B. When weeds are small and actively growing. If you wait and they can get ahold in your yard, it's next to impossible to kill them unless you use a weedkiller and all of us have had brown patches that were the result of a windy day + Roundup.There are so many choices for weed control and I depend on the folks at the Farmer's Co-op to steer me the right direction. There is pre-mixed for spot applications when you just have a few weeds... I am thinking how lucky can you be if you just have a few weeds to kill! Then there are concentrates that you mix with water for large weedy yards like mine : o ( and then there are granules that you water in. A weed and feed combination is how lots of people like to deal with the problem, but we've had mixed results with those. It's probably because we are rural property with less than perfect conditions for application. You just have to start somewhere though, everyone knows that weeds grow faster than anything else in your yard!

I came across a recipe for a bug deterrent at one of my favorite hangouts, Jay Harshaw's Potluck column in the Fort Smith Times Record. This sounds like it might be stinky enough to keep the deer from nibbling on my hostas this summer. I'm going to make some up... hope I can still use my blender for smoothies after I've whizzed a whole head of garlic!

Homemade Bug Deterrent
  • 4 ounces garlic extract
  • A few drops dish soap or insecticidal soap
  • 1 quart water
Blend together and strain through cheesecloth. Dilute 10 times and spray on plants, including undersides of leaves. No garlic extract? Blend a whole bulb of garlic with 2 cups of water. Allow it to sit for a day, and then strain. Add a few drops of dish soap and dilute with 1 gallon of water.

We had a spell of cold weather this past weekend, Blackberry Winter. Normally it's closer to the first week of May but we've had a warm spring up till now. Every year when the blackberries bloom, you can count on a spell of colder than normal temps for a few days. Friday was in the 50's and when I was in town I saw people in coats and shorts. Once warmer weather arrives here in the Ozarks we hold onto it  for dear life, refusing to go back to wearing our winter duds! I had on jeans and a sweater... and sandals! 

My little container garden is doing well. The yellow squash are beginning to come on so we'll have plenty from that one little plant!

Our resident tree frog spends nights down in the garden soil and then suns himself each morning on the windowsill! He was tiny last year and would attach himself to the patio glass and stare in at us at night... I think he was watching tv!

I saw this great idea on Pinterest the other day, from Random Acts of Kindness a way to thank those neighbors who make the world a more beautiful place with their gardening abilities. As you are walking by, just leave them a note to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work! 

This week In The Kitchen... Jay Carter shares his famous salsa recipe...

Jay's Salsa
What You'll Need:
  • 9-12 Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Onions
  • 2 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Cup Celery
  • 5 -10 Jalapenos ( leave seeds for warmer salsa )
  • 2 Teaspoon minced Garlic
  • 1 Can 8oz Tomato Paste
  • 1.5 Cups Sugar
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Lime Juice ( to taste )
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper ( to taste )
To Prepare:
Use food processor or blender to cut tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery, and jalapenos to desired texture.
Mix together & simmer for 20 minutes.
Cool or can.
Hint: add other kinds of green or yellow peppers

Have a great week!


  1. I hope you win your war on weeds!!! It hasn't warmed up enough to get out and do yard work or planting up here. Short growing season!!.

    1. It looks a lot better.. weeds are pulled, painted picket fence, transplanted 25 boxwoods and put down new mulch in the flowerbeds! Good thing I was here to supervise it all- just kidding, we worked like dogs and every muscle in my body hurts!

  2. This year the weeds are thick as thieves ... prob because of the mild winter. Love the apron pics on previous post, Joy.

    Have a wonderful day ~
    TTFN ~

    1. We have more weeds than grass so have re-seeded this week. Now if can just remember to water it daily!!

  3. The sunrise at top photo is gorgeous! Your chickweed looks like something we have here but, not sure if it's the same thing. You have a lovely place.

    1. Thanks so much. When we built here 7 years ago we "cheaped out" and did our own landscaping. It shows!

  4. love the 'calling card' idea. how very sweet! we have henbit each spring that just covers our yard, then the bur clover sets in. finally grass wins out. :)

    1. Our yard is exactly the same and if you are patient you do have a lawn! We're country but do have neighbors who have nicer yards, the JONES. We try to keep up with them...

  5. Ummmm, your tree frogs look much different than mine.

    Love the top photo!!!

    1. They are called Grey Tree Frogs, here's a link to another picture that was in the paper...

  6. Glad we don't have any of those YET! We just have prickers here in "the yard that isn't"!...:)JP

    1. Oh we have those dratted things too, I hate to be pulling weeds and run across them.

  7. Weeds, weeds, weeds! The more we fight, the more they grow. Our biggest problem now are the sticker weeds. (And yes, we love the co-op, too!)

    1. My husband says if he kills ALL the weeds, we won't have any lawn ; )


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