Getting Rid of Pesky Weeds

gardening

While rains are a welcome sight, the weeds they help produce are not. The question is, how to rid your yard of those pesky weeds without pouring unwanted toxins into the soil?

There are a few solutions. For large areas, the weed whacker can trim them away. However, this method does not get to the root of the matter. To do this the tried and trusted hoe must be used to dig up the soil and the roots. Then a good raking to take up the weeds will leave a nice clean yard.

Weeds growing in cracks or in areas with stone or mulch can be sprayed using a spray bottle filled with vinegar. Vinegar can be bought in one gallon jugs in any grocery store. Another item from the grocery store that can be used is table salt. Table salt (about 8 ounces) put into a spray bottle and filled with water can also be applied to the weeds. Just be careful not to get the vinegar or the salt solution close to plants you want to keep as it will kill or damage them as well.

For some weeds (you know the ones) it is just easier to put on the garden gloves and pull them out by the roots. This is especially true of the tall weeds that you should have pulled a few weeks ago.

When you get to the point where your weeds are under control, it will be just about time for another good rain to bring on another round. Don’t let this discourage you. Put your garden gloves on, grab your spray bottle, and get back in the ring.

Growing Pineapples

gardening

I love Hawaii and the taste of fresh island pineapple. What could be better than to have the taste of the islands in your own yard? A few years ago, I decided to give it a try.

I purchased a pineapple from the store, twisted off the top and peeled off a few layers of the lower leaves. I placed this in a glass of water, changing the water daily. After roots started to form, I planted it in a pot with topsoil. It is a good idea to put a wire cage around the plant until it is a good size. This is experience talking. One day I came home and found that an animal (most likely a rabbit) had uprooted a newly planted shoot. Lesson learned. Animals do not bother the plants when they are larger, probably because the leaves do tend to be sharp.

Pineapple plants do not have very long roots, so the pot does not have to be all that deep. The plants do, however, get fairly large. I had to re-pot my plants in larger pots as they grew. They also do not need to be over-watered, although they do require a bit more water when flowering to support the fruit they are producing.

I have found that my plants grow better when not in full sun. I have mine on the side of my house so that they are in the shade until afternoon. This seems to make them happy. They also do not like frost. I live in California and in the winter I am sure to watch the weather forecast. On cold nights I cover the plants with a light frost cover from the garden store. It is very light weight and does not bend the leaves. My plants have been burned from the frost on nights when I didn’t foresee the frost. They survived and still produced pineapples. I just cut off the burnt part of the leaves with scissors.

Pineapple plants produce one pineapple and then they produce shoots that are new plants. When a shoot forms, it can be twisted off and planted as a new plant which will in turn produce a pineapple and then more shoots. A few years ago I stared with one pineapple top and now I have six. All of my plants are offspring from the first plant. The first plant takes the longest to grow and to produce a pineapple. The shoots seem to grow faster and produce pineapples in less time than the original top.

I am sure there are different ways of growing pineapples, however, this is what has worked for me. Not only are the pineapples tasty to eat, they are fun to grow and make for an attractive addition to the landscape. Aloha!