dahlia beds

my favorite dahlia farmers are back in action!  

the dahlia beds were filled with sprouts and weeds after a long stretch of rain earlier in june -- very good for the dahlias and for the weeds as well.  i had hoped that the tubers would survive the unprecedented amount of rain and fortunately all but 5 were spared.  not bad a outcome, considering that i planted 80+ tubers.  

this is our first season planting in the fields and we learned one lesson pretty quickly:  we should have tried to kill the grass first before tilling, either through laying down cardboard or black tarp.  we spent this weekend pulling weeds from the beds, mounding up the sides of the beds, cutting away grass to keep it from creeping up the beds and then covering the beds with mulch.  

of course, when digging up the earth the way we did, we met our various neighbors who inhabit the garden alongside us:  two toads, a red-spotted newt and a number of worms and bugs, both good and bad.  i hope the the toads and newt eat the bad bugs and i used slug bait (sluggo) to get the slimy ones.  the field sits above an underground stream so i have a feeling we'll be seeing more of our newly-discovered friends.