Weeds in the Garden

Even with careful mulching, weeds can still emerge in our gardens, including container gardens! This coming weekend, I’ll be focused specifically on removing weeds from my garden. I usually use a strategy of spraying Roundup and pulling younger weeds from the soil as soon as they emerge. This strategy has helped tremendously, but it is weeding each weekend that has helped me to maintain a garden free of most weeds. There was an explosion of weeds last week in my garden because of a rain event (and that’s all it takes!).

These unwanted plants, once established, can be quite stubborn to remove in their entirety. Just when you thought you’d pulled out the whole weed plant, roots and all, you realize right after the pull that some of the roots were left behind in the soil or that you had helped the pesky dandelion spread its seeds, aka future weeds! Nowadays, I can just tell by feel and sound if any part of the weed was left behind!

I found a very informative website on weeds, containing photos to help you to identify your particular weed(s). It is from the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/weeds_intro.html. This site also has excellent and extensive information on insects and agriculture. I couldn’t believe how many weeds there are!

In the garden, it often seems that there’s a constant battle between order and chaos and weeds definitely fall into the second group! Using information from websites such as the one mentioned can help gardeners to more quickly and accurately identify (and dispose of)  weeds. Weeds compete with our “good” plants for the soil’s nutrients, and may choke them out, so, in the long run, it is actually a time-saving (and beauty-preserving!) strategy to remove weeds at first sight.

And, of course, these are the very same weeds that we see in our lawns. All it takes is a  breeze to deposit the weed “seeds” in our gardens and lawns, creating new weed patches. Likewise, lawn mowers, edgers, etc. can also carry these same weed seeds and spread them from an “infested area” into a section of lawn that currently has no weeds. Ugh!

Because there is a telephone pole on my property, with requisite telephone wires, birds have released many seed-laden droppings, which have revealed themselves as primarily palm tree-like plants. These will also be dug out, and will save me the time and expense of hiring a tree removal company when these unexpected plants become too large and established for me to remove by myself.


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