Yard Weeds Help Bring Pollinators to Your Yard

“Ah Come On, Yard Weeds Aren’t So Bad!”

You’ll never hear me say, “Waaa! There’s a dandelion in my lawn. Quick, get the herbicide!”

More like, “Hey! Did you see that cool butterfly on that dandelion flower?”

Hasn’t anyone heard that there’s a big problem with all the bees dying off? All you RoundUp® users should know that you’re not part of the solution. The bee problem has been traced to the use of pesticides, so every time you spray chemicals to kill so-called weeds the environment is harmed so badly it affects the bee populations.

Without enough bees to pollinate the fruits that we eat, then what?

We all need to understand that we are all part of a bigger scene. The things we do on a daily basis will affect generations to come. Things we take for granted today may not be the same for our grandchildren. Polluting the environment with pesticides has to be one of the worst offenses we can do to the Earth.

Life needs diversity. The more complex the food web the healthier environment.

Every time we kill plants with chemicals it not only takes the plants out of the food web, but many other unseen, uncounted organisms can be killed or harmed.

We don’t know the full impact of using said chemicals, say, on the fungi or nematode population in your garden. How would that impact the availability of nutrients in the soil that plants can take up and use? Lots of unanswered questions out there!

Let’s use caution with those pesticides and herbicides, ok? Better than that use mechanical means of removal where ever possible. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Even better than that, why not let them go? Yard weeds are so beneficial!

The other day I saw a hummingbird visit the closed flowers of Field Hawkweed early in the morning. I was surprised to see the tiny bird visit the closed flowers that were still getting shade from the oak trees.

So really, who hasn’t seen a honey bee or butterfly on a dandelion? Yard weeds definitely help to bring the pollinators!

Dry Garlic Harvest for Storage

After harvesting the garlic plants from the garden, what’s next? Drying, of course, and prepping for storage.

The garlic plants were moved into the garage late in the day they were harvested to protect them from rain and the morning dew. We’re trying to dry out the plants so any moisture isn’t good at this stage.

Garlic plants were dug up and laid out on a sheet to dry in the shade for part of the day. By having the plants on a sheet it made it easy to transport them easily into the garage. The ends of the sheet were gathered into a big bundle for carrying and just as easily unfurled on the work bench in the garage. Sheets helped to contain the dirt and loose leaves, too.

The garlic was laid out in mostly a single layer to dry some more. The plants were adjusted here and there for a couple of weeks so that all plants would dry out.

After about two weeks time the outer leaves were stripped away and the tops cut back to 6-8 inches long. The plants were left to dry again.

About a week later another set of outer leaves were stripped from the bulbs so that a white outer layer remained and the dirt removed. Roots were trimmed with scissors and the tops or hard necks were trimmed down to 2-3 inches long. The bulbs were laid on planting trays for continued curing.

Do you think we have enough garlic to share? You bet!
Do you think we have enough garlic to share? You bet!

Any of the cloves that were exposed to the air were either taken into the kitchen to be used soon or poked into the garlic patch in the garden.

An improvement we could make for next year would be to selectively pull some of the small garlic plants that come up so that other bulbs would be able to grow larger. A more uniform harvest would be possible if each garlic plant had a little more room to grow. Any of the pulled sprouts could be cooked to our delight. Anyone for tasty broiled garlic sprouts?

We did harvest a few big bulbs of garlic, but most of the harvested garlic bulbs ranged in size from small to big.
We did harvest a few big bulbs of garlic, but most of the harvested garlic bulbs ranged in size from small to big.

Now, we’re looking forward to cooking with all that garlic!