Makeover Monday: Taming a Jungle

I’ve posted about our crazy garden before. The previous homeowners were very conscientious organic gardeners and had worked their way up to a self-sustaining edible and flowering garden. It was amazing when we first saw the house, then it quickly became a tangled, invasive jungle. I mean, kale growing 6′ tall. Bushels of flowering broccoli (aka, beyond edible). And then the morning glory, wisteria, alstrumeria, Chilean jasmine, midnight berries, and others that were just TAKING OVER. (Doesn’t it sound like I know something about plants? I don’t. I just fake it.)

I thought I could handle it myself. So I pulled, chopped, yanked for about 12 hours straight. And managed to tweak my neck to immobility for a week. Fail. Oh, and all that overgrowth came back in a few weeks! Plus some!

First attempt at taming the jungle.

Thankfully the City allows free yard waste disposal.

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Flame Weeding: Organic Weed Killing for Badasses

The ongoing saga of our yard is this: it’s big, it’s overgrown, and it’s overwhelming.

We paid mucho dinero to have the yard weeded and trimmed back, and true to form, six weeks later, that work was completely undone. It’s not that the area is that large, it’s just a lot of varied spaces, a challenge to access, and rife with invasive, aggressive species. Since I didn’t want to pay basically RENT to have someone do this job every month, I turned to the internet for ideas.

Committed garden stairs

Watch it bring you to your knees, knees.

Luckily, my friends are smart. They referred me to Seattle Tilth. They offer a great service: garden consultations to identify plants, generate a plan, and help figure out organic solutions to turn your garden into something sustainable. To me, “Sustainable” doesn’t just mean organic, it means something that I can actually take care of with reasonable effort.

Many of the ideas she gave me were great, especially flame weeding. It’s exactly how it sounds: kill weeds with FIRE! Yeah! Continue reading