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Wonder Weeds

As Sandra Perin says, don’t weed, mulch! But of course there is a lot of greenery growing beside the organic weed wompin mulch (Whitney Farms) in my garden. Mulch won’t stop weeds if they’ve already sprouted. I learned today that Ace won’t carry this mulch any more (something to do with gluten composites) but I’ve had great luck with it. Putting a lot of bark (like from shaved teepee poles, etc) seems to take some of the moisture out and I’m reluctant to turn wood and bark into the soil in the fall.

I can always tell if I’ve got a weed by the throat: it’s really easy to pull off the top leaves. And the ones that come up easy and give you a sinking feeling in your stomach? Yep, that was a pea! And probably the only one that germinated on that side of the fence. Still, there’s something satisfying about weeding close to the crops I want to flourish and even if I only get the tops of some of those tap roots, I know I’ll get another chance at it in a week.

If I can’t tell whether it’s a weed or not (planting carnations for the first time this year, I let it grow and watch it. For example, I wasn’t always sure which were flower seedlings until I imagined the color of the adult stocks. The exception, of course, are greenerys like pigweed and bindweed. Plus that little critter that looks like a thistle, but splays itself flat to the ground like a ninja. These little buddies get harder to pull as they get bigger. Clover’s easy to i.d., of course. They’re also great to get while their young and before they establish a bee working colony in the middle of your best soil. I love the garlic, dill(weed), calendula, lettuces, chard, onions and johnny jump ups. A farmer once told me that mother nature likes to cover herself and I figure if not with these perky volunteers, it will be something less tasty, so I let it all go until I can plant, then weed and plop in the tomatoes in the old weed holes. I shake out the lettuce plants I let bolt and in the spring I have early salads–really yummy.

Hope you’re having fun weeding tonight after the rain stops–best time’s when the soil’s fluffy and wet.