I went out to weed the carrot patch yesterday. (Yes, I said I’d do it over the weekend. I didn’t.) I dressed properly and ignored distractions, like the weeds everywhere else, and got to work. Since the weeds were as tall as the carrots, and more numerous, it was painstaking work. Focusing on the stalks just above the ground seemed most efficient, but a lot of stalks don’t look all that different from each other. (Thank you, clover, for being reddish just above the dirt.) I got through about two-thirds of the patch–thinning as I went–before the mosquitos found my face and I decided it was time to go in.

I know I keep going back and forth about my garden this year. This little weeding session tipped me back toward despair again, mainly because it took so much work for such a little space and the carrots, naturally enough, don’t look very big. I think my current plan is this: harvest what’s growing; weed when I get to it; don’t worry too much if I don’t get to it; buy a lot of black plastic and whenever a patch is cleared, cover it up for the rest of the year so that I don’t have to worry about that plot of land anymore. I’ll be doing that with the garlic patch soon; they’re turning brown and are also, of course, overrun by weeds. (Oh, part of the plan will be “dig for potatoes before covering with plastic.” The actual potato plot isn’t looking too healthy but everywhere the potatoes are weeds, they look great.) I’ll probably be doing it with bolted lettuce and sorrel and rocket, though I’ll need to be careful since the parsnips and beets are right there.

I think I’m also going to cut back the wormwood and elecampane now–again, assuming that I get to it. They’re at the outside borders of the herb garden and blocking the paths; I hadn’t realized either one would get quite this large in their second year. I’ll save one each for seeds and curiosity–the elecampane is flowering, which I can see best from the second-story window, but the wormwood isn’t–and regain some walking space. Also, the parsley patch is next on the weeding list, and it’s right below the elecampane, and I care more about tabbouleh than decoration or even dye. (Elecampane roots are supposed to yield a blue dye when mordanted with wood ash. I’ll harvest the roots and find out sometime.)

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