Early in the day is my time to weed. It is quiet, cooler and very peaceful.

Lately, I been driving to the community garden around 7 a.m. with my favorite tool for weeding in the backseat of the car. It’s an old metal stirrup hoe with a long wooden handle. To work it, the gardener gently glides the blade over the top quarter-inch of soil and as it rocks back and, small weed roots are permanently dislodged and left to dry out on the soil’s surface. Once adept at the motion, you can move in and out of the desired plants as a pleasant pace. And since the seedlings are small, it doesn’t require that much effort.

While I’m weeding, I like to inspect the other plants in the bed. I noticed we have some slugs here and there. If these become as issue for you, try putting out a small amount of beer in a shallow tuna tin. The slugs can’t seem to resist. They are drawn to the beer, crawl in and drown.

The weed I notice most in our garden so far is lambsquarters, seen here. 

Lambsquarters is common in the Northeast and often found in gardens, along roadsides or anywhere where the soils have been disturbed. It is an annual that seeds readily. As a seedling it is easy to dislodge by hand or with a hoe.

Just a note of caution. I noticed that several people are growing mint in their plots. Be aware that mint is a perennial that spreads at an alarming rate. One way to keep it in check is to grow it in a pot that you bury in your plot. I did this with the Bee Balm growing in the Welcome Circle. That way, I can be sure the equally fast spreading bee balm will not take over. You may want to do the same with mint.

Have a good day gardening – Natalie Walsh

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