Catching Up With Summer
|Working Away At the Frontline|
I swore to myself I wouldn’t do this, but I miscalculated how much I wanted to spend time with grandkids (even though it meant numerous 9 hr. trips). I am now playing catch up with the garden weeds, long grass, and a veritable jungle out there.
So in the spirit of “making lemonade”, I thought I would let you know the status of the weeds around here. Maybe you have some of them, too. I’m pretty sure you do.
|I make piles to gather up after weeding session is done.|
What are the main weeds of July in my Ohio garden? It will take a list.
- Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
- Poke Weed, Phytolacca americana
- Burdock, Arctium
- Canadian Thistle, Cirsium arvense
- Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans
- Red Mulberry Trees, Morus rubra
- Bush honeysuckles, Lonicera
These are the worst of them, I have many others.
–Purslane, Portulaca oleracea, loves this time of year for filling in the cracks in my fieldstone pathway. They are quite nutritious edible leaves, but I haven’t made use of them except for the compost pile.
-Ground ivy, Glechoma hederacea, has become so ubiquitous I only try to keep it out of cultivated areas; it is taking over the “lawn”.
-Hated Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, is very difficult, but I occasionally wage war on it.
–Garlic Mustard , Alliaria petiolata, is more of a problem earlier in the summer, but a new crop of seedlings starts to make an appearance this month.
This is the short list, grasses tend to top the work list around here. They are my worst weed, and I go to battle all the time, never really winning. The early summer is deceiving- it looks like I have achieved a nice clean area for the month of June. Then the onslaught.
For all that I don’t hate weeding, at all. I only hate being overwhelmed by it. If I go out leisurely each morning, devote and hour or two to meditatively pulling weeds, it is a peaceful and restorative occupation.
Do you wish to identify weeds in your yard? Ohio State has a picture gallery of weeds that is quite extensive. Ohio State Weed Lab
My Weeding Methods
|My daughter helped with these|
Yes, I have methods. I don’t use chemicals, which means I must develop a certain tolerance for some weediness in my garden. That, or find a hireling.
Poke weed I simply cut off at ground level.
Poison Hemlock and Burdock are removed at the crown with a shovel ( an old farmer showed me that: no need to remove the entire deep and difficult taproot).
Red Mulberry are grubbed out below soil level with a spud bar; depending on size, lopper severs the top part from the root.
Same method is used for Bush honeysuckles as for red mulberry. Although I get them smaller and usually loppers are sufficient.
Ground ivy is pulled by hand and then roots are dutch-hoed out.
Canadian thistle pulled straight up, grabbing near ground level with gloved hand in soft earth. Levered out with long trowel or Dandelion weeder in drier conditions.
Bindweed? You try to loosen soil with fork and then pull out. Yes, its a lesson in futility, but keep at it.
|Morus Rubra Removed|
This merits its own page, actually, but I will try to condense.
I used to be entirely immune, but now I must always wash up and be very careful. If I am smart I wear long sleeves+ gloves+long pants+socks and shoes. In hot weather I am not always smart.
First, I cut off the most offensive long parts to get them out of the way. I lay all parts in a separate pile to get rid of later, preferably in a sunny spot for dessication.
Then, use a claw tool to loosen up the creeping roots, pull out those. Some roots are entrenched, pry those up with a garden fork and remove.
Don’t throw the poison ivy on the compost pile, don’t ever, ever burn. Bag up the dried out plants and get rid of them.
I devote an entire afternoon to this job periodically. And I am presently way behind.
|Flowering pots for sanity. You’ll be glad to know I weeded this spot after taking photos.|