The wife went overseas earlier this month and I figured it’d be a good time to convert 1/4 of the backyard into a vegetable garden. No, not the pretty flowery type that guzzles precious (water) resources and potentially induce a state of aesthetic bliss…..but a veg+herb garden with edibles. I figured that if i’m ever going to put in a drop of sweat into a garden project, i should at least get something worthwhile back in my tummy.
So I proceeded to clear the land and give my 40 year old muscles a workout. Little did i know that it was going to be a costly endeavour. Moral of the story: always google and do your due diligence in research before breaking your back….and digging a bigger hole in your bank account.
The backyard had been covered in kikuyu grass which is an absolute hell to remove. While it had provided the lawn with a lush look over the years even during really hot days, it’s an impossible task. Only then did I learn that kikuyu “has high invasive potential due to its elongate rhizomes and stolons, with which it penetrates the ground, rapidly forming dense mats, and suppressing other plant species…” Simply put, it’s immortal and I’m truly humbled by this green organism….Arrrghhhhh……
After 1 week of of clearing and digging down to about 8-10 cm, I was about to throw in the towel. Experienced gardeners had advised that gardening should be relative painless and I SHOULD HAVE JUST DUG OUT THE AREAS I WANTED TO PLACE THE BEDS ON. But i was adamant that I wanted to have a mow-free area (cos its technically difficult to move the mower around the raised beds and get a clean mow along the edges) for the vege garden. I’m not a control freak but I do like some order and easy access+maintenance to what+where I plant.
After speaking to a very experienced (and terribly candid…he was trying to make light of the situation i had literally dug myself into) staff at B**nings, he recommended that I leave the clearing for about 3 weeks (i was like NO WAY…..the wife will kill me if she sees what I’d done while she’s away) and get a bottle of round-up. The idea is that i’ve to firstly sieve through the clearing’s loose soil to pick out any kikuyu remnants (THIS IS THE 2ND MOST SHITTY PART of the work so far). Then, use round-up to zap any shoots that pop up in the course of 3 weeks. The misconception is that you have to douse the whole area with herbicide but in fact round-up reacts with the chlorophyll and ‘poisons’ the plant (leaves, root and all) over about 2 weeks. And it’d work great since it’s the height of summer and a perfect time to conduct kikuyu genocide.
So yah, we were stuck with a barren dusty backyard till after xmas…after our annual xmas party….hurhur…guess what, it was a brilliant conversation topic over festive drinks and nomnoms and allowing me to chalk up some man-points.