Operation Conquer the Weeds!
We're hoping this extra time and effort upfront will result in a lot less time spent weeding over the summer months.
Funny thing is, I've always disliked landscape fabric. I've been ripping it up from all the gardens on our property that the previous owners laid down. In my garden beds, I like my flowers packed tight and full as the method for choking out the weeds. However, growing a flower farm is a different endeavor!
When trying to grow healthy plants with nice, long stems in an organized manner so we can find them readily, we landed on this method of using landscape fabric. Not only does this easily allow us to control plant spacing, but it should also cut down the amount of time we have to spend weeding. Can you imagine having to weed that large of an area?! Yikes. The plan is to place this landscape fabric down in the flower rows, and then place the walking paths far enough apart that we can easily fit the rototiller between them. Periodically, we'll just drive the tiller down the paths and munch up all the weeds!
The first steps were to measure out 100' lengths of fabric and use a propane torch to cut the lengths to size. While my son and I measured and cut, my husband made a couple of templates to use for burning the holes in the fabric. We had four templates, each with different spacing for the flowers: 6-inches, 9-inches, 12-inches, and 18-inches. The template made it easy for us to quickly move along and keep our rows straight and evenly spaced.
After making a couple 100-foot lengths of landscape fabric with this handheld torch, we decided we needed to speed things up and pulled out the big torch! We had tried the big one first while we were burning on our gravel drive way and it didn't really work--the fire would spread out underneath the fabric and burn holes that were too large and erratic. However, once we moved our operation to the grassy field, that problem was greatly reduced.
Now things were moving! This was able to really speed things up. The holes were still not quite as nice--a little more jagged and irregularly-sized, but at this point in the game, it seemed good enough and it was time to finish this process!
The hole process took a few days of hard work, but I'm confident that those few days spent in early spring will reduce MANY days of weeding in the summer and fall! Keeping my fingers crossed there!