Scorched earth

Hello everyone. Happy Monday. I hope you all had a great weekend. I feel like I need another weekend to recover from my weekend. It was super productive, so I am wiped.

You’ll see Saturday’s project in my One Room Challenge post later this week. Today, I have to talk about Sunday’s project. Sunday turned out to be a good garden day.

In my last garden update, I mentioned my plan to use the longe ring. I also mentioned my dilemma of how to clear it of weeds.

Longe ring


By Sunday, I had a bit of a plan of how to start. I also had a sidekick: my oldest nephew.

He loves being at the farm, and he and I work really well together. We also share another unique trait, which I’ll talk about in a minute.

Step one was to cut a new opening in the fence. There’s a gate, but it’s on the wrong side of the ring. Nick selected what he thought would be the best location for the new gate. I ran the saw, he used the drill and then the hammer to knock off the boards (yes, they were both nailed and screwed to the posts).

Voilà, access.

Opening for new garden gate

Then came the slightly dicey part of my plan–and the opportunity to exercise Nick’s and my shared trait: pyromania.

We piled some of the cardboard that’s been amassing in the driveshed in the middle of the ring. And then we lit it on fire.

Burning weeds

After a bit of a slow start, things started to take off. And then they really took off. It wasn’t that bad though. I only hurled myself over the fence once to get away from the flames. And poor Baxter nearly strangled only once when he got tangled in the hose.

We quickly got everything under control. Nick ran the hose while I directed the fire with a rake.

Burning weeds

When the smoke cleared, I still had a nephew, I still had a dog and I still had a fence around the ring.

But I didn’t have any weeds left. Yay!

Burning weeds in the future garden

Nick and I had been really careful to keep the fire inside the ring, so I spent another few hours hacking at the weeds outside the ring with my trusty rake. My plan is to have Matt mow a single loop around the outside of the ring to try and keep the weeds on the field side of the fence, so I needed to clear a path for him.

Three quarters of the way around the ring I found something that’s going to be harder to get rid of than the weeds.

Anyone need some carpet?

Roll of carpet dumped in the field

Who says, “I’ve got a huge roll of carpet. Let’s carry it out to the field and leave it there?” How is this a reasonable disposal option?

The carpet is either frozen or rooted to the ground, and by the time I found it I had pretty much lost the ability to raise my arms above my shoulders. So removing it will be a project for a future weekend.

But for now, let’s look at the garden!

Garden after the weeds have been burned

You can actually see all of it for the first time. You can see the fence on the far side. You can tell it’s a ring.

Sure there’s still a long way to go, but some major progress has been made.

I’m pretty sure the roots of the weeds are still living, so tilling the soil is still going to be a challenge.

On my last post, Meghan suggested covering the ground with tarps for a few weeks to kill the weeds. I’ve read about this technique before, so now that the weeds are knocked down I think I might give it a try.

Once I regain the use of my arms, that is.

What did you do with your weekend? Have you ever done a controlled (or not-so-controlled) burn before? How about using a tarp to kill weeds? Any tips?

10 thoughts on “Scorched earth

  1. Love the ring for a garden, but you also may want to invest in some chicken wire. The rabbits will love the veggies that grow. 😉

  2. Never even thought of burning it… city dwellers don’t have the option, but it makes sense. Way faster too! Good job! Can’t wait to see the progress. What will you build the gate out of?

    • This was definitely something that could only be done with no neighbours around!

      I’m planning to build the gate out of wood. It’ll probably be a bit heavy, but I love the look of the weathered wood so much. I’ll add mesh like I’m doing to the rest of the garden to keep the critters out!

      • Can’t wait to see it. After this long winter, I am so excited for all the garden projects (mine, and following others)!

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