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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
This is my old garden area. It had been in disuse since really July of 2020 when I had a small accident. :roll: I tried the following year to get the garden going again but it was still a "no go" and since then it has laid fallow, growing a stupendous crop of DOG FENNEL :evil: It made a great bedding area for the local deer population, though actually too small for the entire community of deer that we have around here...those cute, Bambi-like, %")@^&%~! demons. :x

Anyhow, the arrival of my 9x12 chicken coop required a spot to put it and since the old garden was not being used it was a good spot for it. Initially, my old gardening buddy and me tried burning the stand of dog did help a bit thinning out the branches and some dried stuff, maybe cooking a few seeds, but that was a very ineffective burn which left most of the dog fennel still standing. :x So, a few days later I decided to remove the dog fennel root mats by hand.

The problem was that once I started clearing the dog fennel out and I let my gardening/adventuring buddy know about what I was doing he kept poking sticks at me to make me clear the entire garden and plant peas, good ol' southern peas!!! Now I ain't got nothing against a good mess of zipper cream peas, and some jalapenos and some juicy tomatoes sounds pretty good, too. So, after I sent him a photo of my first effort at clearing the garden (it wasn't even neated up and only roughly 1/4 of blasted dog fennel clumps were uprooted) he jumped on the bandwagon and told me he'd come help with the rest and I could grow...."PEAS!!!!....LIFESAVER PEAS!!!!!" he calls'em. ;)

Anyhow, he came over a couple of days after my initial foray with the dog fennel and a half a day later we had probably 4/5 of the garden cleared. After he left for the day I cleared some old scuppernong vines and detailed around the edges a bit that evening. He came back the next day and we finished up clearing and piling up the debris with the intention of "lighting it up!".

I decided to let the pile sit for a few days to further dry out and also to till the garden shallowly in hopes some of the 3,493 million dog fennel seeds would sprout and I could till up and let them die an agonizing death in the desiccating sun and wind. All the time neating up the garden as I went along my merry way.

We'd been having some heavy winds...15, 20mph and even higher gusts but yesterday morning the forecast for around sunrise was 0mph winds increasing to 5mph....perfect for incinerating the pile of nastiness!!! :mrgreen: So, without much ado, here ya go..."DEATH TO THE DOG FENNEL"!!!!! :mrgreen:

Below is a shot from 2020, I actually cleared this out in 2021 but in came back with a vengeance since I wasn't yet back at my normal 75% physical self and lost the battle with the dog fennel that year. :lol: I think I'm regressing, though, as I think my new normal is 50%...but, I digress. (hmm, a couple of 'gresses there! ;) )
Pic from 2020, garden behind fence.
Pic from 2020, garden behind fence.
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The photo below shows the first day where I dug up the dog fennel root balls/mats in roughly 1/4 of the garden area. Those stems laying on the ground are simply broke-off dog fennel stems. For those of you that are not familiar with dog fennel, it usually sends tough roots down usually between 6-12 inches, but then send them parallel with the soil surface, usually most of the horizontal roots are only 3-4 inches below ground...they're really good at stabilizing the top 7-8+ foot heights of the plant stems. And don't forget about the 3,493 million seeds that a plant produces...simply clearing the garden isn't the end of them.<sigh>
Cleared 1/4 of garden, maybe.
Cleared 1/4 of garden, maybe.
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The next two photos are of the garden after we had pretty much cleared it of the dog fennel plants. One photo of before and one of after tilling the're getting the full tour! :lol:
Pile of DF after clearing.
Pile of DF after clearing.
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Tilled garden around DF pile.
Tilled garden around DF pile.
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Burn, baby, burn!!!!!!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: It's kind of interesting how the fog started rising from the ground away from the burning pile.
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There's a small pile of embers, some knots of fennel rootballs, etc., still smoldering in this photo. I raked them up into a pile roughly half the size of a beachball. I left them alone and checked them late yesterday afternoon and there was nothing left larger than the last joint of your thumb. I ended up raking out the ashes and small pieces over roughly half the garden...maybe plant watermelons there ;) . So now, I'm still plotting how I'm going to do this. Where to exactly put the coop (I'm looking hard at the near left corner of the garden (as seen in most of the photos). And, as for the peas...zipper creams sure do sound good. 8-) It's really amazing how much fire reduced this pile of dog fennel, fig tree wood, and what-have-you debris.
Pile reduced to ashes!!! HOORAY!!!
Pile reduced to ashes!!! HOORAY!!!
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