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MOM'S GARDEN WISDOM: Episode 1, Garden Clean-Up

Blog by Sara Kalke | May 26th, 2011

Welcome to my newest blog series!  Inspired by my lovely assistant, the ultimate organizer, gardener and housekeeper, and one of my biggest inspirations.  Yep, that's my mom.  She has one of those always perfectly clean houses, and is full of VERY useful mom wisdom. 

We were working in my yard yesterday, planting flowers and cleaning up, and when I asked her how to solve many of the issues, she had the answers, and WOW will those solutions ever save me time.  I was so impressed I decided to share her awesome knowledge with you!  So, here's to you mom, and all moms who are as handy at whatever they do as my mom is.


Episode 1:  Garden Clean-Up

So, spring has sprung and it's time to get the green thumbs out of their mittens. Mom came over to help plant some annuals, and before we know it we're dealing with problems I had been putting off for years.  I had a big overgrown patch of weeds in my front yard that had been driving me crazy.  There were a couple peonies that grew in the midst of the weeds (mostly those little water weeds and leafy things that weren't dandelions, but mom says were definitely weeds).  In an effort to get rid of them every year, I would religiously visit this patch, pull out all of the weeds, just to return 2 days later to see more weeds. Annoying? Yes!  So there I go again, with mom at my side, starting to pull out the weeds.  She stands there and watches me for a while, and finally I ask her if she has any ideas (yes, she's one of those amazing moms that will let me do my own silly thing until I ask for help...).  She says: WEED PATCHES like this one needed to be dug over completely.

So off we go to get the shovels.  Now when the two of us get together, we really get to work.  My husband calls us "hurricaine Kalke"... because it's best not to get in our way when we get working.  So, before you know it, we have half the front yard dug over, down about 2 feet. 

Here's what I learned:
- old peonie roots go down about 2 feet and can grow to be 2 inches thick in diameter
- established weed patches need to be dug out completely from the bottom, the dirt filtered through, and all weed bits put in recycle bags to die a lonely death
- it's better to deal with the baby weeds than waiting till they get big and ugly (insert life metaphor here)
- to get rid of weeds between patio stones, wear rubber gloves, and run your fingers along the cracks and watch the weeds come out, or use an old kitchen knife

Mom says the big lesson is how satisfying it is to get a good day's work done. "It's just so satisfying," she says.  Enough said.

Stay tuned... MUCH more mom wisdom to come.  If any of you moms (or dads, brothers, sisters, etc.) have wisdom to share, drop me a line!  sara@sarakalke.com, be my friend on Facebook, or call me (780) 710-7669.

Next up: Episode 2: FLOWERS FOR THE GARDEN