Weeds and ants

The garden has been planted for a couple weeks, and by this point I am beginning to notice that the clean, pristine soil space that had been tilled, lined, and planted, isn’t looking quite the same. Namely, this seems to be the point that weeds and other inconvenient growths are starting to emerge, even after the soil was initially cleared and tilled. We aren’t going to chance using any sort of chemical product, so manual labour it is!

There hasn’t been much to research about this, just a matter of getting into the garden and cleaning out weeds. I focused on making sure the aisles between different rows were cleaned up. The pictures below will illustrate that.

The pictures here help showcase the kinds of growth being found, and my efforts to basically pluck the root systems out of the soil.


A more difficult problem was also discovered: ants.

We’ve had ants before, but they’ve typically been found around the concrete perimeter of our house, and I’ve easily managed them with the aid of chemical product. But this week we discovered the presence of a sizable colony in the backyard. Rather than say hello to us, they decided to strike first. We’d been wondering for awhile now why one of our three Saskatoon berry bushes hadn’t appeared to grow this season, compared to the other two beside it. Unfortunately, the bush had been taken over by ants. When I dug up the bush (we accepted that it wasn’t going to grow), we found a large presence of ants below.

My first solution was to boil water in a kettle and unleash sweet justice upon them. After creating a boiling wet soil soup, and hoping that my work flooded some part of their network, I had to figure out a more effective solution. Typically, I just go with a Google search. In the spirit of this course, however, I tried to relegate my answers to those found through social media sites.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of Instagram is. It doesn’t seem to be much of a source of discussion or comparison, and it wasn’t much help in this regard. When I search “ant garden control” what popped up was mostly business advertisements and varieties of basic infographics, but nothing in the way of video exemplars or demonstrations. Moving on to Twitter, I used Tweetdeck to search for garden ant management, but again, not much came up. Is gardening not something very popular on social media?

Still determined to avoid YouTube, I tried Reddit. I’ve used Reddit for years, but not for anything related to gardening. A quick search for ant garden management helped me find this page. I’ve heard of using a borax/sugar mixture for dealing with ants, so this is what I went with. I made the mix and applied it around the region where the ants have been most active. Hopefully this helps!

As far as lessons to be learned through this period of the course, I would say I still struggle with maximizing the effectiveness of Instagram and Twitter, but this could also be due to gardening not necessarily being a hot topic of the platforms. As new questions pop up throughout my gardening experience, I’ll keep this in mind as I continue to try exploring these platforms in greater detail.

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