Is there such a thing as a weed-free garden?
I have so many annoying weeds that I must continue with my complaining and whining. Do Martha Stewart and P Allen Smith have weeds? I suppose they do. But how many gardeners work it for them? Of course, their gardens are huge and mine would fit into their compost bin, so why am I complaining.
These weeds I have are really getting on my nerves because they can grow so quickly. I have experimented and let some grow to see how high or how large they get. And some have been a Mystery which I will write about later.
But let me tell you about some more. I have an abundance from which to choose…more’s the pity.
If you missed part one, see it here.
Horseweed – Conyza canadensis
This horseweed or mare’s tail starts out innocently, just a small green plant with soft leaves, no stickers, so innocent. But it can become mighty in stature quickly. Check out this one’s brother over against the fence! It is almost taller than me! And it is all over my garden. I am frequently pulling it out from one place or another.
Horseweed is native to North America and is edible and had medicinal uses but I won’t get into that since I don’t know or understand and I don’t want to give out wrong information. The stem usually makes a pretty strong stick when dried and I read that it can be used to start fires.
(That stick you rub between your palms to start a fire? Its ridged stem helps with that.)
Thank you, but I will use a match. At least until I am chosen as a contestant on Survivor. Who am I kidding? I would be medevacked out when I throw out my back jumping off the truck when we first arrive at the island.
Nutsedge – Cyperus esculentus
This weed looks like a grass when you see it coming up in your garden, but it is actually a sedge. Some people call it nut grass. It pulls up easily when it is small. When you pull it, you need to get it all.
The roots have little “nutlets” and these are the tubers which allow it to spread like crazy. If you feel the stem, it is triangular. You know how you can tell a mint because the stem is 4-sided? Well, a sedge is 3-sided.
When the nut sedge gets about 10-12 inches tall, it “blooms” with that yellow tuft which will be full of its seeds. Like about 1500 of them each! Get rid of them before you have millions.
Here is the taller weed with its “bloom” of seeds. I have to get these out now that I have made the photos. Hope there aren’t many of the tubers formed already. But I will get them!
And did I mention that those nutlets are edible? Supposed to taste like almonds. But I’m not going to eat one to find out!
Wild Violets – Viola odorata
Wild violets are a beautiful sight in the springtime with beautiful blue-purple flowers sprinkled through the garden. But it’s when they begin to take over the whole garden, multiplying quickly and smothering other plants that I have drawn the line.
Since wild violets are said to thrive in acidic soil, I think it is fair to say that I have acidic soil in a lot of my garden. After the beauty of the spring blooming time, the small green heart-shaped leaves begin to blanket my garden. In the beds, in the gravel and all over the place. And I have to work to pull them or they will take over quickly.
When you pull these out of the soil, you must be sure to get them out by the roots. They do have a tendency to break off at the base when pulled , especially the older and larger plants. If you leave that broken root in the ground, it will just grow back stronger.
The wild violets spring up all over so you have to get ahead of them early. I think the best time to pull any weed is after a good rain. They pull up so easily then. Use a large BBQ fork for this. Works great.
I could go on and on about my weeds, but you get my point. Pulling them out early is essential, especially if you are not using chemicals to kill them. And it is best to try all the physical methods possible. We don’t want to introduce chemicals into our gardens if we don’t have to, right?
Thanks for reading!