On both fronts, I think it's safe to be as certain as "So far, so good"! The newspaper is doing a tremendous job of blocking the weeds between the rows, and the rain gutter garden is thriving! I also added a new experiment in there with green onions. At the rain gutter class I took, the instructor told about taking green onions from the store, trimming the roots to about 1/8" long and just sticking them in the soil like that. The expected outcome is that the roots regenerate and produce more onions as a result.
She didn't say whether or not to trim the tops. I don't know that it really matters either way. So, just to spice up the experiment (no pun intended), I planted them both ways.
Now, below are the updated pics as of May 22nd. I've thinned out some of the lettuces, and it looks like I will have to do a bit more with the radishes and lettuces when I get back from vacation in 10 days. As for the onions, I'm not seeing any change, but I'll keep you posted!
Now, moving onto the newspaper experiment. It seems to be working well:) :) We had a terrific windstorm the other night, and expected to be picking up newspaper in the morning, but it was all (surprisingly) still in place. Yay!
Since posting about this originally, I've talked to others/read articles about gardeners using this method but putting mulch on top. It sounds like that is the usual way most people do it, rather than weigh it down with rocks like we did. One word of caution, though: my sister said that they tried it that way a few years ago around some flower bushes, and they must not have put enough mulch, because they did have to gather all of their newspapers from around the yard after a storm blew threw their Oregon neighborhood. Fortunately, our property has an abundance of rock piles tucked here and there, so we have no shortage of paperweights for our beds!
I will admit I'm hesitant to leave my budding beds for the next 10 days. I have someone coming to water and tend them for me, but after hearing that my friend's beds were ransacked by stellar jays, I'm praying that I won't come back to a shredded trash heap!
Alright, I'm off to finish packing. Have a wonderful Memorial Day, and don't forget to stop and thank God for our freedoms, and ponder the lives lost on our behalf.