Wednesday, June 06, 2007


"Nothing satisfies like a neatly weeded bed; improvement in the garden is immediate, sometimes even dramatic. Gardeners who like it often describe weeding as 'therapeutic.'" HGTV website article “Weeds Aren’t All Bad” by Lindsay Bond Totten, Scripps Howard News.

After a steady rain, compliments of tropical storm Barry, the weeds are growing with a vengeance, the ground is soft and I’m off on a weeding frenzy.

Weeds are a fact of life in my garden. Even landscape fabric will not stop them. I know a home owner who used the fabric in the entire garden and thought he would never need to weed again. His weeds grew higher than the shrubs.

A layer of mulch keeps down the weeds or makes them easier to pull out. Years of compost and mulching keep most of my garden’s soil soft and loamy so the weeds come out easier. The pre-emergent Preen helps me keep some of the weeds out of the paths. (Although, now Preen comes with fertilizer. What’s up with that?)

Getting to the root of the matter -

My favorite tool for weeding is my good old dandelion digger. I feel great satisfaction getting the weed out roots and all. I am almost euphoric when I get a complete dandelion, wild garlic or a small thistle.

My new paving weeder is great for getting weeds that grow in the brick edging, between bricks and in tight places. The nicotiana coming up between the bricks is a weed in that spot. The thin blade will fit between the bricks and lift out the plant, roots and all. It’s also great for edging along sidewalks.

My least favorite weed at present is oxalis - the one with red stems & roots. The shallow horizontal roots are difficult to completely dig out. I use the dandelion digger or a small trowel to slide as many roots out as possible. I’ve been hot on the trail for years. I’ve resorted to Roundup where the weed is not too close other garden plants. I don’t seem to be winning the battle. But, the challenge keeps me going.

I attended a class at Lehigh County Extension “The Wicked World of Weeds” with Dick Pudliner, Master Gardener that was extremely informative. Call the Lehigh County Extension office if you want some expert help with your weeds.

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