Friday, July 12, 2013

The Carpeted Garden

Welcome to my vegetable garden!  Beyond this gate you will find several yards of old, discarded carpet that, admittedly is not the most aesthetically pleasing, but makes an amazing mulch between the rows of vegetables. 

I first published this post in July of 2010. This year, our garden doesn't look quite as good, but that has something to do with the fact that we had a very late spring and everything is way behind in development. But the concept remains the same, and we still use carpet as mulch. It's perfect! And other day when I was picking strawberries (yes, this year they're producing RIGHT NOW), it was so nice to be able to kneel on carpet, rather than dirt, when filling my basket with strawberries.

Although some of the other photos were taken last week, this one was taken this morning.
Yes, we've fenced the perimeter because we don't like planting a garden solely for the purpose of feeding bunnies. The vegetable garden is at the edge of the alfalfa field, out in full sun.

A couple short rows of popcorn I planted because my husband pops corn at least a couple times a week. Those shorter green plants between the popcorn are what we call 'weeds.'

Oregon Sugar Pod II is the variety of pea (left) and the beans are pole beans, climbing on the fence. I will never plant bush beans again. I found out last year how much easier it is to pick beans from a fence! (There is a carpeted aisle between the peas and beans, but you can't see it in this photo.)

Beans climbing fence, taken from outside the garden.

 If you look very closely, you can see the itty bitty beans forming on the vine, to the left of the blossom. :-)

I've had four pickings this size so far. I've been blanching and freezing what I don't plan to use up within the week.

Part of my row of peppers: jalapeno, long red, and poblano. If all these carpet scraps offend you, just remember how much fun weeding isn't!

Onions with a few of last year's parsnips-gone-to-seed in the background.

Parsnips and carrots. I've about 20 feet more to thin out, my least favorite job in the garden!

The squash patch, photo taken a week ago. They've really begun to spread out this week! In a short while you will hardly be able to see carpet for all the runners and fruit! (Isn't it a fruit? The seeds are inside...hmm)

 Just to the left of that dying blossom you'll see the little zucchini forming. In another week I should have zucchini and yellow crookneck squash for my stir fry!

The tomatoes, after I pruned them. The sun will quickly dry out the pruned leaves and they will easily brush off the carpet.

So why did we have this little tour of my garden? First of all, because I can't seem to stop taking pictures these days. Secondly, to show you that vegetables and weeds can co-exist, as long as the poor vegetables aren't totally outnumbered, at least that's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it!  Thirdly, to show you that carpet makes a wonderful 'mulch.'  Laying carpet is much preferable to pulling weeds, in my opinion, especially since you only have to do it once!

 Another squash blossom.

When you do have to pull out weeds between plants, the carpet is kind to your knees. And when it rains, the rain goes through to the soil, but the weeds do not come up through the carpet. This is The Great Carpet Mystery.

So when your neighbors are replacing their carpet, you might want to offer to take it off their hands. :-)

Someone asked my husband if I have to vacuum the carpet. :-) (Really. He was actually serious. And no, I do NOT vacuum the carpet in the garden. Most of my vacuuming has to do with dog hair!)

As I said last week, when I look out the kitchen window, I'm glad that I see the pond garden, not the vegetable garden. Now you know why. Misty hurried to get into the picture. 'Good girl, Misty!'


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Have a great weekend, everyone!


This post may be linked to one or more of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and Get in My Tummy and  Cure for the Common Monday and  Clever Chicks Blog Hop and  Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and    Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and Efforts and Assets and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and Memories by the Mile and Crafty Texas Girls and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday  and Love Bakes Good Cakes and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Wildcrafting Wednesday and   Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and The Girl Creative, Thursday and  Creative Things Thursday and Be Inspired and Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Friday Fences and  Thursday's Inspiration and  The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and Creative Things Thursday and   Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and Freedom Fridays and From the Farm and   Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and Share Your Creativity and   A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday and  Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special


Kim said...

OK, seriously.....that is genius!

MadSnapper said...

your Garden at the end is magnificent...and I do wish we had known this carpet trick when daddy had his garden... your photo's bring back memories of his plants, onions and rows of beans, just like yours, but minus the carpet. i love the photo of the beans in the basket..

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

With a garden that big you needed a weeding solution - how smart! Your view from your kitchen is lovely :-)

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Judy, your garden is magnificent! I loved looking at all the photo's! It's been such a strange summer this year and hardly any of the farmers around here seem to have zucchini, yet. Believe me, I check the Farmer's Markets every week.

Unknown said...

What a fabulous garden you have Judy - and your pond garden is sheer beauty!!!!!!
Laughing out loud about the vacuum!!!

E.lizabeth said...

i guess it helps with the weeds & such. neat idea. so different. don't think i have ever seen a garden like this one.

i miss fresh veggies. ( :

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

What a great idea I never thought of using carpet!! It definitely makes me want to expand my garden!! My squash, snap peas and pumpkins are barely blooming. My lilies haven't even bloomed yet. Crazy late spring!!

Tanya Breese said...

oh i've never heard of that, what a great idea!

Balisha said...

What a clever way to recycle carpet and answer to the problem of weeds.
Your garden is wonderful and so productive.

Suzan said...

That's a fantastic idea of laying old carpet!! You have a wonderful garden!!

Unknown said...

Looks nice and seems very practical keep the weeds out too.

Denise said...

Wow, great idea.

Unknown said...

I wish I could have gardens like that... first I don't have the room and second.. I can't even get grass to grow!!! lol Maybe I should just start small with a house plant or something? :)
Love the idea of using the carpet instead of mulch. I have never seen that done before.

Empty Nester said...

Great idea and everything is so neatly planted! How does pruning tomato plants help? Is this something I should have been doing????

laurie said...

So interesting! I like your idea of using carpet, too.

Sunny Simple Life said...

I have seen this before on the garden blogs. Do you just let it degrade in there? I saw it used for compost too. Our garden is strange this year too. Hardly any maters. We even had rain yesterday. Crazy for us. This is the desert after all.

Unknown said...

I think the carpet in the veggie garden is a fantastic idea. The mud and dirt while picking is no fun at all. You are a wise woman, and I loved the pictures.

LV said...

That is a new one on me. Apparently, it works as your garden looks great. It probably helps hold moisture too.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

So clever and pretty.

I think we are going to try to plant one. We are going to find a temporary spot in our backyard because we have not fixed it up yet.

I started researching yesterday. I have to have the soil ready within 6 weeks. (The biggest growing season is coming up here. Apparently there are two.)

Faye said...

Very functional and--as you say--save the "pretty" gardening for your view. Family and neighbors are mostly likely very grateful that you've figured out a way to garden productively without killing your knees and back.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That's a great way to keep the weeds down and it will be easy to dispose of when it's not needed. I sure would love some fresh onions...with the tops! Have a good weekend my friend!

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Great idea to use the carpet!! It doesn't look so pretty but the plants will soon be covering most of it up and like you said, it works great! I'm envious of your fresh veggies but not of the work that goes into them..

Ruth Kelly said...

Thanks for the tips on keeping weeds out of the garden. I have used in the past roof shingles to keep weeds out of my flower garden. It works for awhile but this year got away from me in the weeding department.

TexWisGirl said...

that is SOOOO smart! awesome idea! the peas look wonderful! so does your pond garden! LOVE!!!

keep taking those pictures!!!

Donna said...

Your garden produce looks amazing! Glad that the carpet mulch is working out for you!

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

Great idea! Wouldn't it be fun to find cobblestone or brick patterned carpet?

What a beautiful garden, and I think it's very cool that you grow popcorn!

Susie said...

What a nice garden. I like the carpet idea. grass clippings works too. xoxo,Susie

Terri D said...

Carpet - who knew?!! (You did!) Great idea. Your garden looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the tour with us!

LisaS said...

What a fantastic garden! so carefully tended.

Gemma Wiseman said...

I would never have thought of carpet as weed control! I have always been anti the plastic stuff! It leeches the soil! But carpet sounds like a great idea! And what a great view through the gate in the first photo

RURAL said...

What a great idea...that's something that you should be putting on Pinterest.


Cheryl @ TFD said...

Using carpet for mulch is a terrific idea, Judy! I'm going to show my hubby this post. My garden isn't doing too well this season. We had so much rain earlier on and had to replant.

Have a nice weekend!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Hi Judy What a wonderful inventive way of using old carpet and at the same time, eliminating your weed problems. Great expanse of vegetable area and fantastic variety of same. Have a great weekend. Margaret

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Morning Judy, Did someone really ask your husband if you hoovered the carpet??? I have to confess, I did laugh at that.
Using a carpet for mulching is a fabulous idea for all the reasons you mentioned. The one I loved most was how kind the carpet was to the knees when weeding or picking produce.
I love that you grow popcorn.... is that a special type of corn... sorry to show my ignorance, but I find it fascinating that you can grow corn to make popcorn.
Your garden is full of lovely produce and there is certainly nothing like growing your own. I have been picking radishes from my garden and they have a lovely peppery taste, and they are certainly much nicer than the shop bought radishes.
The last photograph you showed us of your garden is beautiful, it must be a joy to sit in and relax.
Have a lovely weekend.
Best Wishes

Amy said...

Oh my! Your garden is nice and neat and huge! I only plant in pots as I don't really have much space at all.

Didn't know about the carpet trick but I sure will remember now. So, when I get to plant on the ground like you, I know I need some carpet. ;) Thanks for sharing this great tip.

MT Blog said...

Wow, what a great idea! And you plant corn for popcorn? Where did you originally get the seed from? We LOVE popcorn, but we are only growing corn at this time. Great blog, thanks for sharing!

Chatty Crone said...

I LOVE your garden there - and the carpets I knew you did as I remember the original post - two years I have been following you. Gee and you have so much wonderful food! sandie

tlcukjourney said...

Someone asked if you vacuum the carpet? I love that... too funny.
I'm on my way to help you weed the garden!
I'm telling you Judy, you are one blessed woman!

Eileen said...

Absolutely brilliant idea :-)
Your garden is wonderful.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I love your idea. In France also, everything is very late. We basically didn't have any spring. It was winter until the end of June and then we went straight to summer!

Robin said...

What a great idea for using the carpet.

KDohermann said...

I do think this idea is brilliant. And as usual my inner devil's advocate spoke up. Any problems with the chemicals that are in the carpet leaching into your soil? I have read about using cardboard for this very same thing and the author suggested using cardboard with minimal ink for the same reason. Hmm. Maybe get the soil tested ... for what I am not sure but it's a thought.

Cranberry Morning said...

We've never had any trouble with the old carpets causing any problem with the soil. Maybe that's because they're old carpets, not new.

Schulz Family said...

visiting from I should be mopping the floor. I love this. What an incredibly productive garden you have. Wow

Love Bakes Good Cakes said...

This is so clever, Judy! I love this idea so much that I'm choosing it as one of my favorites :) I can't wait to see what you share this week!

Kathy said...

Well, Judy! Love this idea to keep weeds down. With all our rain this year we've had SO many weeds! And that when you bend down it doesn't hurt! I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,


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