I haven't been in the vege garden for about six months. I've done no weeding whatsoever. Nil. Nada. Zip. And you could really really tell. So I had a willing worker in the form of a teenage boy helping me out today. Eye high weeds and borage and brassicas. He wasn't much of a conversationalist but together we made a HUGE dent in the work.
Then after about five hours it began to rain in a relentless, very wetting kind of way. So once we had piled up our weeds into two humongous piles I sent him off home with some money burning a hole in his pocket and the promise of more if he comes back tomorrow (if the rain stops).
Then I got my other willing workers on the job. I tempted the chickens in by throwing round a few handfuls of cracked corn and shut the gate behind them. They will pick over and scratch around, finding weed seeds and slugs, snails and bugs, in a much more thorough way than I ever could. (I'll let them out in a couple hours 'cause there's no shelter in there and they'll be getting all bedraggled.)
And do you like my shiny new gate? I used to have a piece of plywood just lent up against the posts. My mother in law jokes about how it took her 25 years to get a proper gate on her garden, so I should get used to my ply. But Hubby came through after only three years! (Actually the gate was for between the orchard and the top paddock but it turned out too big so my vege garden became the recipient. I'm not complaining!)
So there is hope for summer vegetables now. Basil and tomatoes, potatoes and beans, mmmmmm!