by Margaret Murray
You might see Eric Jensen on his hands and knees at the corner of Harvard and Yale Avenues, determinedly pulling weeds from his garden plot. Weeds have been a challenge for the five years Jensen has had a plot in the community garden.
Now he has a successful counterattack. “I cover my plot with black plastic and poke holes for the plants, so there are no open rows and less space for weeds to grow,” Jensen explains. The perfect weed-prevention method took some experimenting. “One year I used a black cloth, but it was too porous and the weeds grew through it, pinning it to the ground. It was a total disaster!”
For Jensen, a Swarthmore resident and Swarthmore College astronomy professor, gardening has been a part of life since he was a kid growing up in New Hampton, Iowa. “My parents were avid gardeners, and since they were high school teachers we had a garden every summer. It was just part of life.”