The worst weeds of all
Which weeds make you grind your teeth and rip at your hair? What is a weed anyway? I agree wholeheartedly with the axiom that a weed is in the eye of the beholder.
Someone once told me that rhododendrons are considered weeds on the Scottish Isles because they take up valuable pasture space.
I know which plants are weeds on my property. They’re the ones growing where I don’t want them to.
The Global Invasive Species Database has compiled a list of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species. It’s surprising to see which ones are included. Japanese knotweed for one. Well okay, no surprise there. But they’ve also included privet. I’ve seen plenty of those being sold for hedging over the years.
If I could, I’d condemn all of the following to the compost heap, never to survive nor propagate.
Wavy bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa) was recently identified for me by my friend Jodi Delong. It’s by far the weed I curse the most. I was hauling it out of the gardens in early March as it was blooming. A smallleafed, rosette-forming plant with white flowers, its seed heads explode and fling seed all over the place when touched. Leave a tiny piece of the root or leaf in the ground and a new plant starts. Pulling them out early is the best method of control.
Another bad one is the dandelion. If only for the difficulty in removing all of the long tap root. Last year I bought a tool especially designed for extracting this weed but it’s not foolproof.
For some, it’s the wild ajuga that drives them crazy. It blooms purple and forms a thick, flowering carpet on lawns. Liming the area helps, but I’m a poor one to ask about removing weeds from lawns. I’m in the moss-makes-an-almost-perfect-lawn camp. As long as the ground is covered and relatively green, everything is fine with me.
An important factor in controlling your weeds is to be as vigilant as possible in removing them before they have a chance to set seed or multiply by runners. If you can keep on top of them early in the season, the plants you want to flourish will have a head start and will stand a better chance at crowding out younger weeds. That’s why I always like to plant annuals close together if possible, in their weedfree bed. Once they spread and grow together, weeds won’t have as much chance to compete.
Weeding as therapy? It can be relaxing, meditative and life reaffirming. By having our hands in the soil, we are grounding ourselves, re-balancing our spirit. There was a time not so many years ago when I didn’t have the opportunity to weed for close to a year. When I got back at it, I was amazed at my transportation to a quieter, slower pace and the great satisfaction of seeing an area reclaimed to order.
- 37, of Liverpool, Queens County, passed away on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012, at home. Born in Liverpool, he was a son of Rosemary Wamboldt, of Kingston, Nova Scotia and the late Edward Roy. Ashley will always be remembered for his affectionate smile. He loved to go fishing and hunting. He is survived by a Sister Tammy (David) Leblanc, of Liverpool; Brother Tony (Amber) Roy, of Brooklyn; niece Alexis Roy, of Brooklyn. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool. There will be no Funeral Serv- ice by family request. Donations may be made to the Society of Deaf and Hard Hearing Nova Scotians (SDHHNS). Online condolences may be made to the family at www.chandlersfuneral.com
Wavy bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa) has seed heads that explode and fling seed all over the place when touched.