Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The first eggplant in the neglected garden

Working for the census bureau has been taking up my mornings which is the best time to work on the garden because by afternoon it is so unbelievably hot that it is hard to be in the sun for to long. People that came before me must have been a lot tougher because if I had to live here without air conditioning I would loose my mind.  After a just a second in the humidity it feels like shower time. It was hot in Las Vegas, but now I know what people meant when they said at least it is a dry heat.  That is my best advice for moving to the country and gardening, do it somewhere with nice weather.

 The garden is full of weeds and tomatoes.  One of the gardeners I know told me that as soon as I am done with the tomatoes I should use some roundup to cut down on the amount of grass growing in the garden, but I just bring myself to go with the roundup.  I would imagine that the tomatoes might grow better if they were not competing with the grass for water and nutrients, since there are growing anyway I don't plan on changing my weeding habits.  Normally I go around with sharpened hoe and hack down the grass in the rows and then attempt to hand pull what is growing directly at the base on the plants, but with the heat I haven't done as much weed control as possible.  We also have been having a hard time keeping up with processing the tomatoes into sauce  in time.  Next year I think we need to go down to 40 plants.

Among the weeds I found the first eggplant.  About time, I have had my fill of squash so it will be nice to give something else a try.  Last year we didn't grow eggplant so I am not sure what to expect as far as how fast it grows. According to Wikipedia 20 pounds of eggplant has the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette so I need to build a huge drying rack if I am ever gonna a get a smoke out of these things.


  1. If you'll mulch, it will help keep the weeds out. You can invest in a wood chipper and make your own mulch out of the fallen trees that are probably plentiful on your property, or you can use leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, hay, etc. Save newspaper, feed bags, etc. (biodegadable papers); lay them down between your rows (and even on top of your rows). Then put the mulch on top of the paper. You can wet the paper if you have trouble with them blowing away while you're trying to put the mulch on. Of course, you want to do this after you've tilled up the grass, or pulled it out or whatever - during the winter or early spring before the grass starts growing.

    If that's bermuda grass and you want to avoid Roundup, you can heavily salt it and that's supposed to kill it, but it might take more than one application. I don't know if the salt will stay in the soil and affect your vegetable plants, though. I had a bad bermuda problem and pulled it all out by hand. It was a big job, but worth it not having to deal with it this season, except for a sprig here and there.

  2. I meant to mulch using the pine straw from the heavily wooded area behind the house, but I never got around to it. I have pulled out a ton before, but it grows back so fast I never seem to get it all.