Weeding Can Be Such A Pain!

weedy garden

I spent the last weekend of July weeding my 16’x18′ perennial garden. This is a chore I do about once a year. Last year I did it around July 4th and then literally didn’t garden for the 3 consecutive weeks because I injured my back somehow in the process.

This year I was smarter about it. I didn’t bend from the waist constantly like last year. I sort of crab-walked around. Needless to say, I still discovered muscles I didn’t know I had in the arches of my feet, my ankles–you get the idea.

But I’m a committed hand-weeder and as such, this chore needs to be done. And it’s a bit easier when the weeds are a bit taller so they come out by the fistful. Lest you think I’m kidding, here’s what I’m dealing with.

area outside garden

Unfortunately, the area around the garden also has to be weeded because otherwise it will seed and all those weed seeds will just get into the garden and I’ll be back to square one. I suspect that’s how it got so bad to begin with–never mind the fact that nature abhors a vacuum. This is what I’m dealing with there.

I love Larry Weaner and his sort of “back to nature” philosophy of letting the land tell you what to plant, but unfortunately all my land tells me is that I have a lot of weeds and invasive plants to eradicate. Each year it seems I’ll have a different one running amok. I’ve pretty much got most of the garlic mustard under control (although I found a few that had gone to seed in the garden so that will be back to haunt me next year. Ideally I’ll get the rosettes next time). Last year I was working on smartweed. I haven’t even begun to tackle the plantain or creeping Charlie. Where are my lovely native plants?

Actually, in all of this I do have a sweet little St. Johns wort–very tiny–that looks just like a weed–and comes up everywhere. It’s in the lawn, all my flower beds, between the cracks in the walkways–so it behaves like a weed too. It would take over a bed that is all hydrangeas if I let it. I don’t. So there’s my native plant–I just pull it out like another weed. I don’t think that’s what Larry Weaner is talking about, somehow.

all done!

When I’m finished, this is my result. I’m not fanatical about getting every last weed because I know they’ll be back and I’ll need to do “touch up.” But at least I won’t need to spend a weekend on this project again–until next year.

4 thoughts on “Weeding Can Be Such A Pain!

  1. pbmgarden August 9, 2013 / 9:24 pm

    Good for you for getting out there and getting those weeds early. Hope I’m not too late but I haven’t worked in my garden in weeks. Trying to get inspired again before the weeds take over.

  2. gardendaze August 11, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    Sometimess It is quite a chore to make myself do this stuff. But weeding is one of those things that I’m always thrilled to have done. It’s visible progress. Pruning is another thing I really enjoy. Now planting seeds–not so much, even though I know I’ll enjoy the results later. And I practically have to twist my own arms to get myself to plant autumn bulbs!

  3. michele August 11, 2013 / 6:17 pm

    Thanks so much for letting me know good gardeners also get weedy! You’ve made me feel so much better about my 3× season weeding schedule. I do it late May, mid-July, & then late August. I do recommend the right hoe…I use one with a small head for the 1st 2 weddings…. the perennials are still small enough to get around & it does save my back & knees!

  4. gardendaze August 12, 2013 / 5:36 pm

    And thank you for including me with the good gardeners!

    There are 2 schools for thought about hoeing–and I was a religious hoe-er for years. I have all sorts and they do save the back.

    But the “latest” school of thought on that is that they may stir up more weed seeds–and as you can see, I don’t need any extra help in that area.

    They also disturb the soil food web–admittedly not as much as a tiller would do, but every time you dig into the soil you’re disrupting all the “good” stuff–the beneficial mycillae and the earthworms,, etc.

    So my hoes now reside in the garage and I try to disturb the soil as little as possible–at least until the thinking convinces me otherwise!

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


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