How I Manage Weeds

Weeds are annoying and also seemingly smarter than I am.

Despite my best efforts, our backyard loves to play host to these little guys:

Picture of a Paper Mulberry Seedling

They spread by seed and by a strong shared root system. And then after a shockingly short amount of time, they become these.

Picture of a Paper Mulberry that's taller than a house

Look up. Look way up.

I try to pull the little guys up as soon as I see them, but they keep coming back, largely because of the established root system. So it’s a never ending battle with the paper mulberries.

The trespassing garden is full of these:

I mostly leave them alone because they’re pretty enough and don’t seem to aggressively invade my yard. And I think the pollinators like them.

Dandelions are pretty?

But at the Church Street House, we have these, which I think might be greenbrier:

They grow quickly and have strong tendrils that help them climb fences and trees and siding. They also have rose-like thorns. If it wasn’t for the thorns and the climbing up and under siding, I might just let them be.

But they are miserable little things. I’ve tried pulling them, but the roots are strong so I’ve rarely gotten any up by the root. Cutting them back doesn’t do much because they really do grow quickly, like one to three inches a day when the conditions are right. I’ve tried spraying them with a vinegar, salt, and soap solution. And I’ve tried spraying them with roundup, repeatedly. The only thing they’ve actually responded to is when Andrew has set the chimney starter over them after using it. Which makes me tempted to just burn them all individually, but the ground is mostly covered in wood mulch and I don’t really want to burn the whole place down.

So the best solution I’ve come up with has been to paint them and at least make them look pretty.

I’m pretty sure this is just a sign that I have lost the battle.

An Easy Irrigation System

I set up a luxury irrigation system this year and I’m pretty excited to share it with you in case you want to be inspired by me.

It’s time for a few updates on our Luxury Yard Renovation. First, when I mentioned expanding and planting my garden a couple months ago, I also mentioned that I was hoping to add some sort of irrigation system to make it easier to keep up with the watering. I have done just that.

I mangled together various Rain Bird components to build a simple drip irrigation system.

Rain Bird Faucet Connection Kit

Starting at the faucet, I attached this Faucet Connection Kit, which includes a backflow preventer, a 25 psi regulator, and a mesh filter. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to put it on a timer initially but now I’m not sure why I didn’t do it in the first place. I would save me from the times that I forget to turn the water off and accidently leave it running for 24 hours. So I’m planning to add a Timer but they’ve been out of stock the last couple times I’ve been to the store and I’ve been too lazy to order one. The other end of the connection kit is directly attached to 1/2″ Drip Irrigation Tubing.

1/2" drip irrigation tubing coil

I ran the 1/2″ tubing up the wall of our house, used a hook to hold it up, then added a 90 degree angle using 1/2″ Barbed Elbow attached to more 1/2 inch tubing. That tubing runs above our gate, then it’s caught and carried down using this Double Shepherd Hook because it was the best thing I could think of using.

Rain Bird System

From the shepherd hook, the tubing just runs to the garden, weaving in and out of the chain link.

Creativity at work

A second shepherd hook catches the tubing at the corner of the garden and carries it down to garden level.

Rain Bird System

Another 1/2″ barbed elbow is used to turn the corner and run the tubing flat along that back of corner garden box and then a final barbed elbow carries the tubing along the left side of the corner box. With just the components I mentioned so far, if I turned on the faucet, the water would run through the tubing and shoot straight out the top center of the above picture. This 1/2″ End Closure is use to fold the end back on itself to stop the water flow, much like a crimp in a hose. But then we still don’t have a useful irrigation system.

But as you can see there are smaller 1/4″ brown tubes attached to the 1/2″ black tubes. The 1/4″ tubing is actually Emitter Tubing with 6″ Spacing, meaning it has holes every 6 inches that let water out. The 1/4″ tubing attaches to the 1/2″ tubing using these 1/4″ Barbed Elbows. And the ends of the 1/4″ tubing are plugged using these 1/4″ Closure Goof Plugs. The 1/4″ tubing is held in place in the garden using a few Galvanized Stakes.

Rain Bird Drip Irrigation

Since my garden boxes are tiered, I cut small holes in the frame to allow the tubing to run through it, rather than having to drape over it.

Rain Bird Drip Irrigation

Overall the system works pretty well. I might consider adding a few sprinkler heads or something next year, depending on what the plants seem to want but at this point the main problem with my garden seems to be that I was too lazy to put up netting or fencing this year so critters keep digging up my seeds and snacking on my plants.