Friday, September 13, 2013

Losing the Battle But Only a Few Casualties

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Squash plants living with weeds
We learned a lesson this time last year. Weeds can win. Flooding rows and not weeding everyday makes for horrendous weeds. Last year, we were involved in the wedding and a couple of other things that took us out of the fields often. Weeds took over and got so out of hand we gave up the battle.

We learned the lesson all over again this year. Only with a slightly different slant. We changed to a drip system, as I told you about in an earlier post. It worked beautifully and the weeds were under control for a while anyway. Then the rains came. Our prairie community normally does not get much rain. This year has been over the top. Results - same as last year. The
weeds have gotten so out of hand, we gave up the battle.

Some plants are greatly affected by weeds like the root veggies (onions, carrots, potatoes). They become stunted and won't grow to full maturity. We planted so many carrots that we don't really care if they're smaller or funky shaped. It did cut down on the size of the onions. I have managed to keep the potato rows fairly weed free. In fact, they are about the only ones I weed now. Other plants were affected by bugs which find housing in the weeds and grass. One row of green beans died before its time because of giant grasshoppers.

Fruit trees, green but barren
Yes, it's been an unusual year for rain but we're still going to do some more planning for next year. We're contemplating row covers and ground cover before planting.

Some of us relax better than others!
One good result from all this rain is the replenishment of the Big Chino Aquifer. We sit atop the Big Chino. It feeds our well and a good portion of Arizona. It was long over due for a splash.

New this year: Lance has taken up hunting. We have dove in the freezer along side the veggies!


  1. And this is also my country gardening life. :)
    There's always next year. I much prefer a wet year to a drought which is more typical here, but both are a big challenge. You have my sympathies.

    1. I bet you do know how it is, Beth. With all of our unmaintained wet roads, I kind of lean toward a dryer year. But I'd never wish a drought on us. Thanks, for reading.