Veggie garden gets some love

I'm pretty bad with neglecting my vegetable garden at various times of the year. You've seen what it looked like at the start of the Spring, and even though I've been getting some seeds in the ground, I've let the weeds take over somewhat:

Time to make amends with some weeding and thinning!

In that photo above you can see some Agastache foeniculum that I've let grow in the veggie bed (I should move that as it's taking up valuable space) because it smells great and attracts bees and other pollinators, the Kale from last year that is now starting to flower, some lettuce, and beets. You can't tell where the beets are because there are so many weeds. But if you think that's a lot of weeds, take a look at this:

Just disgraceful. That's thicker growth than parts of my lawn! Then there's the spinach being overtaken by not so much weeds as dozens and dozens of bronze fennel seedlings:

I love bronze fennel, but it's probably not the ideal plant for creating a lush carpet, so I'll pull most of those. I've already got a dozen or so growing in six-packs.

Most of the weeds come up quickly with the scuffle hoe (or "action hoe" as the label called it), but around the beets it's just hand weeding. A lot of hand weeding -- or should I say "finger" weeding, because it's delicate work. I also removed a lot of the beet seedlings to give them more room. I'm sticking to my promise to follow recommended spacings this year so I actually get a harvest and not a bunch of tiny, overcrowded plants.

I thinned the spinach out too, and ended up with a couple of nice baby spinach salads for dinner. Yum! Here's what it looks like weeded:

Still not beautiful, but better, and now for phase two: mulching. As I did with the front yard earlier, I'm mulching with compost. I think this is the fourth or fifth season for my veggie bed, and each year I add quite a bit of compost to loosen up the heavy clay soil. It's made a big difference, but I'm always surprised at how heavy the soil still is, so more compost is always welcome.

You may be able to see that I've added a few more lettuce plants around the cauliflower. It just seemed so empty after I got the weeds out. Besides, there's only a month or so left before it's too hot for the lettuce anyway, so might as well get as many salads out of them as possible while I can, right?

Sure looks nice now! Hopefully this keeps the weeds in check for a while too. I expect to be adding another layer of compost later this summer, although it can be difficult doing that once the plants are all filled in as this is a pretty small area.

I just need to get a few more things planted (melons, cucumbers) and do a little work on that fence...

I now almost have a veggie garden that I'm not ashamed to show people! (Distract them with bamboo and other plants is my usual strategy.)

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