Garden Update – Tips for Weeding!


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Another week has passed! So quickly…as I look back at my goals from last week, I realize that I accomplished very little. 🙂 But I did get a few things accomplished in my garden this past week. Come take a look at my weekly garden update!

weed carefully So the big task that is going to consume me this summer is weeding. So far, anyway. I keep thinking I will get the weeds out, and then mulch, but I still haven’t finished mulching. My father in law gave me this antique rake last week and I’ve been trying it out. I love the way it looks, but I’m not sold yet on its function. It does a really nice job on teeny tiny weeds, but I’ve got some pretty big, nasty ones already that need a strong hoe. But isn’t it nice anyway?

Last week I decided to finally clean out my carrot area. I hadn’t found any carrots after 2 plantings, so I decided they just never germinated. I headed over there with my hoe and was just about to start whacking when I spied it!

carrot in the weeds Can you find the feathery carrot in there? I’m so glad I saw it. Once I found one, I put down my hoe and started weeding by hand. I found a lot of baby carrots in there. It helps to weed carefully and sometimes, I just have to use my fingers.

weedy carrots And there are smaller carrots! Look for two long, skinny leaves and the start of a little feather, an you’ll find it! There are actually a couple tiny carrots hiding in this picture. While weeding other areas of the garden, I found many more volunteer tomatoes, and transplanted a few of them and I also found a lot of flowers. The zinnias finally germinated as well as a few marigolds! It really pays to weed with an eagle eye and light touch sometimes.

Here are a few tips for weeding:

1. I wait to weed – unless I’m certain that the weeds are in fact, weeds, I leave them alone until I can tell for sure. Patience is a virtue.

2. I use my rakes and the hand cultivator like the one my father in law gave me, but I’m not afraid to put them down, get down on my hands and knees, and weed with my fingers.

3. Know what your plants will look like after they germinate! This Vegetable Plant Identification from Seed to Seedling at is a great place to look!! I can’t tell you how many little seedlings I’ve accidentally disturbed because I wasn’t careful. 🙁

4. Use carefully prepared soil to minimize weed growth in the first place. One of the ideas behind  square foot gardening {not that I’m a square foot gardener}, is that planting in tight plots reduces the need weeding. I might have to look more carefully at that option, myself! 🙂

5. I have found that weeds come out easiest after a nice rain! Don’t be afraid to get a little muddy. In fact, next to my hoe, my mud boots are my number one must have in the garden!

How do you weed? Please share some of your own tips!

Here’s what else is going on in my garden:

planting pumpkins

My son helped me plant watermelon and pie pumpkins. We still have giant pumpkins, cantaloupe, and another type of melon to plant. We have to get that done tomorrow! I also planted my orange Okra. I can’t wait to see it grow!

flowering cucumbers

The cucumbers I started from seed and transplanted are flowering! The cucumbers I direct sowed are up and looking good, but not flowering yet.

cabbage My cabbages are looking good! And so are the cauliflowers, brussel sprouts. I’ve been harvesting a little broccoli already. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will get a big head this year, but I’ll keep harvesting the side shoots as long as I can.

field mice holes The disturbing discovery in my garden are these little holes and the disappearance of all of my sweet corn. I had two gorgeous rows of sweet corn and then they ALL disappeared, expect 2 lonely little corn stalks. I’m guessing these holes have something to do with it, and that it’s probably field mice, but I don’t really know. Has anyone experienced this? Please let me know!

But here is the real reason for the lack of progress at my garden:

Iowa Barn We are actually moving into the barn, temporarily. If you missed my announcement yesterday, we are finally starting our Passive House and will be living in the barn while that happens!
iowa barn house Here’s a sneak peak at the inside of the barn. Don’t judge my dirty floors… I’ll share more photos later, once we get all moved in! But moving this past weekend is a big part of why I didn’t get very far on my to-do list.

And that’s what’s going on in my garden. What’s going on in yours? Do you have a tip for weeding that I didn’t mention? Or, know what the annoying holes are in my garden? I’d love to hear!


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. It’s voles, or field mice as you stated that is eating your corn. Be careful, because now that it’s gone they will go after other tasty morsels. I’m fighting those little boogers this year too. 🙁

    1. OH man. My heart sank when I read your post, Jen. And wouldn’t you know, my son wants to catch them and keep them as pets. So far, the only damage seems to be to the corn so I’m curious where they will go next. I’m also curious what you have tried so far to get rid of them?

  2. We had voles a couple years ago, we flooded the holes with the garden hose and hubby whacked then as they ran out. A little crude but it got rid of them and none have moved in since.

  3. Thanks for the lesson on it’s. I do appreciate those who know and use our language well.

    It appears that you ran short of editing/re-reading time and trusted a spell checker. See the note on the pic of missing cornstalks.

    Seems that we all do this from time to time.

    1. Ha! I see the problem and appreciate you pointing my mistake that out. 🙂 Consider it fixed.