Monday, July 24, 2017

For every weed there is a season

Today was a perfect day for weeding. The soil was saturated with recent rains, the sky was overcast, the temperature in the low 70's. I spent two hours on the front of the house and another hour under the 'Limelight' hydrangea before my back said, "ENOUGH!" Both areas had been weeded earlier this year, yet they were full of more but different weeds.

This is the season of what I think of as farm weeds: lamb's quarters, purslane, plantain, smartweed, bindweed, thistle, etc. Then there are the so-called weeds, native plants I will allow in the backyard in limited quantities but not the front yard, like pokeweed and goldenrod. The wild strawberry is okay in the lawn but not the flower beds. The volunteer violets and columbine and milkweed can stay. Several weeds I don't know the names of have to go. Let's not forget the poison ivy, destined to be sprayed.

In the past, I just tossed all weeds onto the compost pile, which never got hot enough to kill weed seeds. No wonder the weeds seemed to be taking over. Now the weeds go into yard waste bags for pickup by the city. (I still have a compost bin the for kitchen scraps and other non-weed discards.) I've also been mulching more, over sheets of newspaper, and mowing and/or weed whacking where I haven't been able to actually pull weeds.

I think my strategy is working. There is less Canada thistle, one of the worst offenders, and even the mulberry appears to be giving up. The Queen Anne's lace is under control - the last of it is destined for the dye pot, as it produces some lovely colors. Even the mint, catnip, and lemon balm that I planted oh-so-many years ago is surprisingly sparse.

My current nemesis is creeping Charlie. Success with the other weeds is giving me hope, though, that even this pesky weed can be conquered.

What are your worst weed nightmares?

1 comment:

Jason said...

Oh, yes. Creeping Charlie is the worst. It cannot be fully eradicated, only held back.