8/12 Edible Gardening 101:Weeds, Volunteers, & Disease

Weeds, Volunteers, and Disease


This is where people lose hope, even after putting in all the work to get here. The trick is to weed 10-15 minutes every day, and MULCH. Mulch between the rows with cardboard and straw or wood chips on top. Not only is this more attractive than a vegetable jungle, it just means you only have to do between the plants.

The more composted organic matter added to your garden, the less weeds you will have.

Also when its harvest time, stop weeding. Focus on the harvest. This will prevent a lot of overwhelm.


This is when things pop up in your garden year to year that you may not have even planted this year! You can treat them as weeds or look at them like a bonus. You can guess what I do-BONUS!

Look at the picture in this post. That is my grandson Owen standing in behind a huge plot of ground cherries that I didn’t plant!! They are all volunteers from the year before and the chickens helped spread the seeds all around in the fall when I let them in to clean up the garden.

If you have let a plant go to seed, it may send off volunteer seeds into your soil which lay dormant until conditions are right.

Last year I had a whole row of tomato starts which were volunteers all over the garden. When I noticed one popping up somewhere, I moved it to my row I started. By late summer I had a beautiful harvest of tomatoes I hadn’t spent a cent on. I also had no idea what variety they were till they fruited but I am extremely okay with that.

Tip: Mint should be grown in a pot set in the ground as it spreads very well if not contained. I only think this is a bad thing if it chokes out your other plants.


Oh there are a lot. My two biggest tips on preventing disease is

1) airflow, airflow, airflow. This means vigorous pruning, and weeding around plants;

2)Reduce overhead watering as much as possible. Keeping watering to the base of the plant reduces water sitting on the foliage and combined with poor airflow, is a breeding ground for disease. I love drip hoses for this reason, especially with tomatoes.

We are getting to the good stuff -HARVEST TIME!!!!

Love Jenn xx

A Temporary hoop house made with cattle panels helps with overhead watering tomatoes, as do drip hoses.

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