I have been reading through Eliot Coleman’s book, The New Organic Grower , and came across this poem at the beginning of his chapter dealing with weeds and thought that it was worth sharing.

Since the best way of weeding

Is to prevent weeds from seeding,

The least procrastination

Of any operation

To prevent the semination

Of noxious vegetation

Is a source of tribulation.

And this, in truth, a fact is

Which gardeners ought to practice,

And tillers should remember,

From April to December.

~New England Farmer, 1829

I am always amazed at how fast weeds grow in the height of summer and as much as I try the garden usually ends the season very weedy. ๐Ÿ™

Below is how my garden back home started last year.ย  I would show you how it looked at the end of the year, just to be completely transparent, but I didn’t take any pictures at the seasons end because honestly, it didn’t cross my mind to document how much I had let my garden go to weeds.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I will certainly keep you posted on how my garden here at Polyface grows though, and share my successes and failures.

Anyone started seeds inside or planted out in their gardens yet?



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About Leanna Hale

Leanna Barth, born and raised in NC, first came to Polyface in July 2010 to attend one of the Intensive Discovery Seminars. She loved it so much that she applied for an internship position and was accepted for the 2011 season, after which she took the inventory/gardener position. Before coming to Polyface, she sold produce from her familyโ€™s market garden, along with homemade baked goods. This venture was mostly inspired by having read โ€œYou Can Farmโ€ by Joel Salatin. Having always loved the outdoors, animals, and gardening Leanna is excited about this coming year, all that she will learn, and how the Lord will use this job later on in her life.

13 Responses to Weeds

  1. Stephen Enloe says:

    Hey, you hit a topic near and dear to me. There is another old quote that goes like this: “One year of weeds equals seven years of seeds!” Weeds are something I haven’t seen much written about at Polyface. I would love to know more about weed management operations that you guys do!
    On the planting front, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, and sugar snaps are all in the ground!

  2. janna says:

    I have started my seeds …. a little to early i just was so excited but i think it will be okay . I love that poem !!! Thanks for sharing !!

  3. We are getting ready to purchase seeds from Baker Creek Heirlooms and I need to start my containers of lettuce and spinach. We also need to get potatoes going but we just put an offer in on a short sale house with 3 3/4 acres so we need to wait to hear if the bank accepts our offer. Regardless of where we end up putting our garden in this year. I think I shall paint that poem on a piece of wood and make it into a garden sign to keep my motivations for weeding up.

  4. Scott & Yvette says:

    Yvette got our sweet potatoes started already, without a tractor we have to have someone come in and till it for us as it takes forever 16″ at a time with tiller. Certainly hoping for a good spring this year to start out with.
    Thanks for the poem, very fitting when you farm according to nature and not chemicals.

  5. Adrianne says:

    WEEDS!!! argh, what a pain but thank you for posting that poem! Most of my seeds came from the Ark Institute and were put into starter cups 2 weeks ago. We live in Southern California so I am pretty lucky with my planting time frame. I bought Redwood for my raised beds and am waiting on my soil to go in next week. Victory Garden here I come ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Adrianne says:

    O and on a side note- Our 6 chicks just turned 5 and 6 weeks old and we are starting their coop. We can’t be more excited to be more self suffient as time goes on! Thank you for being so helpful with your posts and efforts! You keep us inspired, Bravo!

  7. sans says:

    While some may curse the weeds, I eat them. Remember the weeds are plants too, and there is a place for them (most of them). Some of the weeds are just plan brats and don’t belong due to their behavior.

    • Tracy says:

      Excellent point. Given our cool temps, we have chick weed year round. Yum! and the chicken’s love it, too. Sometimes if you can’t beat it, eat it.

  8. Nita says:

    Your garden looks beautiful! Makes me wistful for summer. Just getting ready to start some seeds, but I might wait a bit, we have a foot of fresh snow ๐Ÿ™

  9. What a beautiful garden! I might have to make a quick trip up to Polyface this summer just to see your gardens. Weedy or not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I don’t know if Virginia has anything quite like this, but my biggest enemy is Bermuda grass. It’s highly invasive and spreads through underground runners, kind of creeping into the beds. Fighting against it can seem so hopeless!

  10. Teri Butler says:

    We’ve had an unusually mild Winter in Oklahoma, so they already have a good stand. My goats love them and readily convert them into fertilizer. I’m afraid to start a garden this year because the drought and extremely hot temperatures killed the garden and trees I planted last year. I hope I get my courage up because I have a wide variety of seeds from Baker Creek.

  11. Amanda S says:

    Last year was our first garden, and the weeds were a monstrosity! We just viewed the Back to Eden film (free online–http://backtoedenfilm.com/) and are already implementing his mulching methods. We are very hopeful for a weedless and prosperous garden this year!

  12. Tracy says:

    I still have many weeks until plant out, but I’m starting celery, parsley, sage, thyme, and fennel this week in soil blocks. We still have feet of snow over garden beds, but here in Alaska when spring comes, it comes in a hurry. I’ve also planted kale, spinach, and lettuce in the greenhouse. It’s still zero degrees at night, but when the time is right they will emerge. Love your website and posts. It gives me something green and growing to see as I wait impatiently for spring to come.