I got another 5 bags of the wood mulch for $2.00 a bag at Home depot. I used 3 of the bags in the alley around the Sunchokes and one surviving moss rose in that area. The area in the alley way has poor soil, does not get much water, plus lots of sun so it is a breeding ground for some nasty weeds. I have noticed that a thick layer of wood mulch does a great job at blocking most weeds. The next thing that happens is the weeds grow close to the wood mulch because it retains water so you still have to deal with the weeds around the edges. I have dug up 1/2 trash barrel full the goatheads/puncture vine and I’m trying full strength vinegar on another section of the puncture vines to see if vinegar will kill off the weed without killing the soil. The moss rose is a low growing spreader and does well in poor soil along with being drought tolerant. The moss rose I placed in the first bed of wood mulch has done very well blooming occasionally with just a bit of water. My hope for the alley way garden to start is for a drought/ tolerant bed for plants I choose that will replace all those nasty weeds and will become a sort of hot zone garden bed. By using wood mulch I will add back to the soil and things look better visually and save water along with eliminated the nasty weeds. Yes, I do a get a bit of a thrill to seeing a new plant especially one I nurtured, takes hold in poor soil and thrives.
We are finally seeing a few small peppers and tomatoes in the garden and the melon plant is forming buds for fruit. The kale in the front yard beds survived the heat wave and while small they look healthy. Our herbs exploded with growth and we have not kept up with the drying of them as it was to hot to harvest. The weather has cooled so we might be able to harvest some of the herbs. The “butter crunch” lettuce and “swiss chard” handled the heat wave much better than my other greens that bolted or just died in the heat. I got another small kiddy pool for plants but I’m not sure how I want to use it the yard yet. Since the berries are doing great in the front yard I’m thinking about adding the pool up front and make a 2 level strawberry growing area using the pool and one of 18 gallon buckets in the center of the pool. I have a low spot in the front yard and digging out the lawn and setting the pool in that area would not be to difficult, plus I get a new focal point and that area will produce something edible rather than just grass that needs water and mowed.