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Another “Local” Blog

I know that most of you reading this blog are either enamored with my elegant prose or are interested in vegetable gardening. Still…some of you might be a little bit interested in lawns, weeds, or ornamental plant topics. (I have no idea why, but you might have a reason.) If that is the case, I’d like to point you toward a new blog started by the K-State Turfgrass folks.

You can find the KSU Turfgrass Blog at http://blogs.ksre.ksu.edu/ksuturf.

Some of their recent posts that might be of interest:

If you want more information on the Kansas Healthy Yards & Communities program, you can visit the website.

Wild Raspberries

So raspberries are not something  you plant in a small space…or a space where you’ll have a hard time keeping them under control. The reason for this rule is that raspberries spread their roots underground…to pretty much any place that they can get their roots. Then you have new shoots popping up…sometimes just barely outside the “zone” and sometimes quite a distance away.

Case in point:

After pruning the raspberries on March 23, everything was so neat and clean! Surely the raspberries will only grow right where we want them to grow.

Bang! 10 days later, there are new raspberry shoots growing…but not in a neat spot. They are along the front edge, along the back edge, in the middle of the strawberries, surrounding the currant bushes…pretty much anywhere.

After some judicious “weeding,” I think they might be manageable…at least for a little while! We’ll probably have to beat back new shoots regularly this summer…and next…and forever…

Honestly, I’m beginning to wonder if the best way for a homeowner to grow raspberries (and keep them more easily under control) is to plant them in a raised bed – maybe only 3 feet wide – with weed barrier fabric underneath it. Of course, the raised bed would have to be dedicated exclusively to raspberries, but they are so worth it!

Eating Weeds?

Pretty much all that is growing in the garden right now (besides a few lonely spring bulbs) are weeds. I know! How dare those weeds enter our garden.

Oooh…that henbit is pretty much all over the garden. We’ll pull that right out when we get started digging and planting next week.

Sadly, there are only 2 small clumps of chickweed. Sadly? Yes, sadly! This is pretty tasty stuff. It would be a great addition to your salad tonight, if you can find some. It tastes a bit like raw corn on the front end, and has an earthy, beet-y flavor for the finish.

Actually, any number of common garden weeds are edible, especially the young, tender versions of those weeds. Of course dandelion is a fairly common edible. Other edible weeds include purslane, lambsquarters, pigweed, stinging nettles, plantain, sheep’s sorrel, burdock roots, and violet or Johnny Jump Up flowers. You can probably find a few more if you do some research.

Of course, if you’re going to start eating the weeds out of your garden or yard, make sure you haven’t used anything toxic (or had pets) in the area recently!

Friday PhotoEssay

I think most of the vegetables in the garden didn’t mind the cold much, and are very appreciative of the return of some sunshine! I know I’m glad the sun has returned, at least for a few days.The resilience of plants is always surprising.

This winter wheat was grown for a 4-H banquet centerpiece, and then was unceremoniously dumped into the compost bin. It seems quite content with its lot, even though it is going to get ground up and mixed into the compost this afternoon.

This salad mix (lots of mustard and choy) and the lettuce next to it seem none the worse for the little bit of frost earlier this week. I think I may have a harvest to report by next Monday. Yum!

In case you couldn’t tell from all the labels, this is the Swiss Chard.

Hmm…maybe this is the wrong picture to end on. This is some tiny, seedling henbit that is growing in the bed out by the lattice wall. I guess henbit is our winter crop for that garden!

Have a great weekend!

 

Eating Your Weeds?

Maybe it was my upbringing on a Wisconsin dairy farm with a father who loved nature or maybe it was working for a farm that regularly sold unusual edibles to restaurants, but this article from the Wall Street Journal is not shocking to me. Maybe it is to some of you? I will say that my experience eating weeds is that they are not nearly as delicious as normal domesticated vegetables.