We knew the garden was going to be bad since it had been 3 weeks since it had been weeded. And, we weren't disappointed. (Double click on each pic to 'biggefy'.)
But, we also encountered them in our pond. Our pond is spring fed so it has a good supply of fresh water. But when it rains it obviously raises the level. To compensate & keep it from overflowing the pond dam, we have a drain pipe with a galvanized wire cage above & around it, to keep out weeds. The pipe drains into the branch area & eventually away from the property altogether.
When we got up in the morning, we noticed that the pond level was very high & it didn't seem to be receding. Plus, we can normally see the upper portion of the cage sticking out above the water, but we couldn't see it at all. Justin got in the fiberglass john-boat & paddled to the drain pipe. It was BARELY draining a trickle & the water level was about 2 inches from overflowing the dam! We would really be in trouble if that happens, as the dam would erode & eventually break & drain ALL the water out of the pond.
It had rained so much lately that the suction of the water into the drain pipe was originally very strong & on top of that the pond weeds wrapped themselves around the weakened cage & caused it to collapse on itself thereby stopping the pipe from draining. Justin started pulling weeds away from the cage. I was standing on the dam at the time & could hear the exit pipe start to gurgle very loudly. I wasn't sure what the sound was at first as it was a guttural sound like an animal stuck in the mud trying to get out. Finally a huge blast of water pushed through, (I couldn't see it, only hear it) & eventually the water started draining steadily again.
These are part of the weeds pulled away from the cage.
|About 1/2 5 gallon buckets worth.|
And, the water was receding from the dock as well.
Justin pulled a few more weeds the next day & before we left you could see about 4 inches of the cage.
My Dad will be up this week & will check it to make sure it isn't stopped up again. We'll need to replace the cage apparatus. We are looking to replace it with stainless cage so it doesn't erode.
After working on the drain pipe we decided to tackle the garden. This is what it looks like. There are hedgerows growing! This is War!
I have newspaper in the some of the block holes & initially thought that the weeds were growing up through the paper. However, after either pulling or string trimming It appears that the newspaper is helping keep the weeds in the holes, at bay. There are a few coming through but nothing like in the beds.
Almost all the beds have newspaper or cardboard, leaves, hay & a layer of compost but as you can see the weeds don't care. They are definitely worse & harder to pull in the beds w/less 'matter' in them. The 2 higher beds in the front (eventually the asparagus beds) have a thicker layer of compost on them & the weeds seem to be mostly surface weeds most likely brought in by birds. I pulled the weeds out of those 2 beds by hand.
We decided to try an experiment with black 6 mil plastic. We had a few leftover old warped boards so we measured and put a frame of board along the length of each bed & stapled the black plastic to the boards & then put block on the ends. We only had enough boards to do 4 beds but we'll see how it goes & cover the others if it seems to work.
I still want to put down cardboard or landscape cloth & wood chips in the pathways. But need to find a source for wood chips.
Oh well, at least I don't plan on planting anything in most of the beds until the spring of 2015 we will keep fighting until we have conquered the blasted weeds!
Oh, and a note on the grapes. Yes, the other vine is definitely the white variety.
I got about 2 quarts from it & about another pint from the last of the red ones!