Sometimes things don’t work. I feel compelled to report on a few projects that that I started, with high hopes, that didn’t result in much. Here are two that I wouldn’t go out and strongly recommend.

  1. Planting chestnuts (the actual nut) in the ground in the fall, under various layers of protection.
  2. Trying to get rid of weeds using clear plastic.

Last fall I got really into picking chestnuts. I gathered nuts for eating, and saved some of the particularly nice big ones to plant. I planted the chestnuts, covered them with cardboard, poked a hole for the sprout to come up, and covered the whole thing with chicken wire. Nothing came up. Oh, except for a lot of weeds….

I think an animal must have gotten in and eaten the nuts, or something. I don’t know.

At the same time, I transplanted two chestnut seedlings from a friend. One was a one year old tree, and the other about two years old. The chestnut seedlings are both doing well, and I have high hopes that in about 5 years I might have a chestnut crop! Especially with my little hive of pollinators happily stationed in their tree near by!

Jay and I experimented with a sheet of clear plastic to get rid of some of the grass in our pumpkin patch. We covered the majority of the space with cardboard and straw, but in one corner we used clear plastic. The idea was that it would create a greenhouse and get so hot that the grass (and its seeds) would cook, and we would end up with a nice clean slate to plant pumpkins…

It certainly did create a greenhouse… Maybe we didn’t leave it on long enough, but it seemed that the grass under the plastic just wouldn’t really die. Some of it did, but not very consistently. Some of the plastic blew off, and other parts made great water catchers/mosquito breeding grounds. And the whole mess smelled terrible!  So…we took the plastic off and used the cardboard and straw technique, which worked really well!