Weeding - so discouraged

marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern OntarioJune 30, 2008

It's just amazing how the weeds have taken over this year. Every time i get into a flower bed, i'm pulling grass three feet high, or those potentilla weeds, clover, thistles, plantains, on and on and on. It just seems like i can't get ahead. In one bed, geranium phaeum seems to have ideas about world domination, and in another, it's that bellflower. Verbascum is all over the place.

When i'm finished work next week, i'll be able to devote more time to it and it will all get done eventually. Just that right now, it's discouraging to go out there and have to weed, weed, weed, when i should be planting.

Sorry for the whine. :(

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

It's okay Marcia, I think we all can relate to how you feel.

I have the 'forbidden' area of my yard where the grass is growing high amongst the weeds. I mow what I can, but I really need to trim the weeds against the fence. It just seems like there's never enough time. Then there's the small corner where I have a variety of plants, but weeds galore. Not to mention the weeds I should spray in the spare parking spot. I always vow to take better care of things in the summer, but there is only so much time.

Maybe lawn services should offer a new service - weed pulling. Then again, I don't know if I'd trust them to distinguish between a dandelion and a daisy.

Hang in there,


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:52PM
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Ha....someone make the weeds go away. I want to know why they always grow taller and faster than the plants. I finally got the large side perennial bed weeded again last weekend. The horsetail was taller than some of the plants. Now the garden looks bare. LOL. And now to start over in the front yard...where thistle has appeared this year. Oyyyy. Its never done.

I had to replace 2 lavender plants this week and of course while in the nursery, I had to buy a couple other things. A companula white chips and 3 more coral bells. So far I got the lavenders planted and the white chips. Hopefully today or tomorrow I can throw the other 3 plants in and be done, till my iris order gets here. Oh wait, I still have to divide some delphs and iris once they finish blooming. Who has time for all the weeding? Hmmm

Happy Canada Day All


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:17PM
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chickadee__3a(z 3a Ontario)

I think we're all in the same boat after all this rain and cool weather. It seems the weeds can appear just overnight. Clean them all out and there's more by sundown!!!
I guess we're all spending Canada Day weeding. LOL But at least today it's not raining. Yet.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Pudge 2b

Well I spent a few hours weeding this morning, and could certainly spend a few more. The mulched areas where the soil hasn't been disturbed for a long time are pretty much weed free, but other areas that aren't, yikes. My use-to-be grass bed (soon-to-be another iris/peony/lily bed) was a disaster. There's still a few grasses in there but I'm battling twitch and every annual or perennial weed that this land has to offer is in there. So I was in there with a hoe this morning and cut them all down. And I've got quite the crop of chokecherry seedlings taking hold underneath the trees - I need to get at them - add that to the list, LOL.

I'm praying for rain again but the forecast looks like sunny and hot for who knows how long so the sprinklers will be going into overtime.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 4:44PM
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Well, I feel the need to vent, too! I was hauling water to the garden in the tank on the truck (flat deck)to start giving things a good soaking as it is so hot and drying up right now and supposed to be hot for the rest of the week...and the full tank slipped off the truck and split in half! I guess the strap broke. To top it all off DH is in town and could pick one up but everything is closed becasue its Canada Day! Awww man! So I guess now that chores been called off, I can feel free to tackle some weeds :') LOL!
Seems like if one can get after those weeds now they're not so bad later...keep your chins up!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 4:57PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Guess we're all in the same boat, eh? I just look at the pictures of your beds and they all look so nice, and mine look like a disaster area! But i suppose it's all in the angle of the picture. :)

Toots, what an accident! I'm glad the tank was the only thing that got hurt!

We had a real downpour this afternoon - not that we needed any more rain - and the heat that followed is going to help things grow even better. You never win, eh? LOL

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:49PM
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I feel your pain. I have a bed that needs to be completely emptied and revamped due to invading prairie grass. I have been slowly working at it; waiting for some plants to bloom and some cooler weather until I can move most of them to a holding bed. What a big job!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:14PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Marcia, don't you know we just photoshop out our weeds? LOL.

I'm having troubles with the entire perimeter of my yard which the previous owners planted with shrubs and junipers, then didn't edge the lawn and it's all full of grass and impossible to get out. So far I'm just ignoring it. In some places I have said screw the junipers and I just mowed it all.

The beds that I have made and edged are doing nicely for weeds except I constantly have to pull bellflowers. I can honestly say I LOVE weeding unless there are mosquitoes. And now there are mosquitoes so my yard work is done for the summer.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Well, ya'll are not gonna wanna hear this, but I was reading an article in the latest GL mag and it was about how climate change is going to affect our weeds. One stat was that due to more CO2 in the atmosphere along with warmer temps they'll get like up to 4 times taller and grow faster and more potent like super weeds! That's right out of a horrror movie!

Gil, I'm the same way. I don't mind the weeding so much as the heat and mosquitoes that go along with it! I think they're making up for a slow start this spring...they're so aggressive :'( I keep trying to avoid them later at night but they're still out at 10pm. I should be napping in the heat of the day and weeding at midnight since we do have nice long days in the north, eh?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 1:48PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that loves to weed. I use to smoke it but now I love to do it.

I have OCD WEEDING, I love to weed, its my escape time from my job, (Deb you probably can relate).
I can't sit still, if I'm sitting in a lawn chair and I see a weed, I have to get up and pull it.

The deer/horse flies are huge and crazy this year! I got bit on my elbow the other day, my arm swelled up to the size of a football!

Mulch, RoundUp and a hoe are my three best friends. Some folks say I'm the biggest hoe in Alberta ;)


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I usually dont mind weeding but I am sick and tired of pulling out the creeping charlie ...grrr. I hope after this hot weather it decides to slow down. During the hottest part of the day the mosquitos arent bad but the horse flies and black flies have chased me inside a few times.
Sharon I guess there are worse things to be then a garden hoe..lol..savona

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 3:39PM
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I am heading out once again...to weed. The areas where there is no mulch at all definitely could use my assistance. I am going to make up a batch of round-up and 'weed' a lot tonight.

I have chickweed in one spot in the lawn...where the dirt we bought ended up many years ago. I have some Par 3 that I am going to use on it tonight or tomorrow am. That should fix it. Chickweed...a little goes a long ways. Start with a few plants and soon you will have lots.

Anyone have portulaca? And not the tame variety. I have pulled every one out for the past 13 years since we purchased this yard. The garden was 100% portulaca when we came and now...nothing. yippee!! This morning I found about 20 plants in an unmulched spot by a rose bush. Believe me they were gone immediately. Very shortly that area will be flaxed and I won't have to worry about it anymore. Portulaca is an unbelievably hard plant to get rid of.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:21PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I actually don't mind weeding either. It's just that i've been feeling so discouraged with the amount of them. That's fairly normal in my yard, being in the bush and all, but some years i get at them earlier. Then there's this year! LOL

Mosquitoes drive me inside as well. They haven't been too bad this year, surprisingly - it's been cool and rainy since April so you'd think they'd be worse. Not asking any questions, though! :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Yes, that portulaca is a bugger to get rid of! I've been fairly diligent in getting rid of it over the years, but I do find a handful every year somewhere in the veggie garden.

Mulch is the key word in my garden. Anywhere there's mulch the weeds aren't that bad. In those beds it's mainly the grass and canada thistle that try to get in. In the veggie garden that isn't mulched.....well, the pigweed, dillweed and the single purple datura, which I'm sure will rule the world one day, are my main culprits to weed out. I just hate weeds that can go to seed when they're only 2" high.....how do you find them when they're hiding underneath the potato leaves????grrrrrr!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Same here, when I moved here Portulaca was a real nuisance. You have to nip it in the bud quick or else it can invade your whole garden in one season. I find that Roundup is the best cure. If you hand pick, youÂve got to make sure the root is dug up too, hoeing or snipping off the tops will only make it grow stronger. As well, if you leave any pieces on the ground it will root and hoeing will only bring up the dormant seeds to the surface.

After 8 years here, I see the odd one poke thru still.

Now if it was the ornamental portulaca that acted as a weed, I would be happy ;)

Why can't it be that the birds and pests eat the weeds only, I guess that only happens in Pudge's bubble.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 4:16PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Had to look up portulaca as a weed and found out i know it as purslane. It's not really bad around here. Did you know you can eat it? I haven't tried, though.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 7:43PM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Weeds, hmmm. Everything got away on me last year. I'm paying for it this year. Chickweed is the worst by far.

My DM has tasted cooked portulaca recetly. She said it is very good. It is supposed to be better for you than broccoli.
I rarely see it in my yard. So I most likely will not be trying it cooked.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:41AM
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I know exactly how you feel!

I've got a few different weeds that are just ruthless.. and two that I rather enjoy and let grow (Ground Cherry and Hazelnut)

I have one that I can't identify.. I think it may be cinnamon vine, but the leaves are more arrow shaped and they don't have the ridges in them.. they have the texture of Mile a Minute, but look like cinnamon vine... they take over anywhere there is disturbed soil.

I have what I think is redroot pigweed and lots of something called "pusley" or Portulaca oleracea... that takes over like a mat of vegetation.

Then in a shadier, cooler portion of the garden I have watercress coming up everywhere....

And my iris are out of control.. they're taking over. I yanked a few of them and stuck them in the ground elsewhere.. and they're thriving.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:46PM
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Sherwood Botsford(3a)

In addition to a large yard, I've got close to 10,000 trees growing in pots. (Yes I sell trees. No, you have to figure out where my web site is or the Thought Police will yank my membership.)

Mulch is the first key. Soil prep is the second.

I use old straw for mulch. Bales that are left out in the weather for a couple of years before use. The seeds that come with the straw are either eaten by mice, or sprout and die. Put it on about an inch thick. Use flakes where you can, it doesn't blow around as much. If it's too old, and is at the crumb stage, weeds can grow in IT.

Another mulch I'm trying is pond weed. Wade into the pond, and rake it up with a grass rake, and plop layers of it into a wheel barrow. The top dries very quickly, so a weed seed doesn't have much time to germinate. It mats, and when it dries, it will shrink away from the edge, so you have to adjust, add more often.

Bark chips are lousy mulch, unless they are several inches thick.

Used carpet makes good landscape barrier. If there is nothing on top of it, it will last for 5 years or so. Use it upside down. The cloth side stays cleaner looking. This is my preferred cover around trees in my yard. Cut two chunks 2 x 3 feet. Make notch 8" deep by twice the trunk thickness in the 3 foot side. Put the notches around the trunk, one from either side, of course. Use 6 nails on the corners. You can now mow this without sucking the carpet into the mower. (DON'T DO THIS. It makes a mess..)

The second key is exhausting the seed bank. When you make a new garden, you have years of seeds of whatever was there before. You need to get all these guys to sprout, so you can kill them.

Year 1. Make your garden. Don't plant anything. Once a month turn it over. Whenever there is a flush of new weeds, hoe. If you have a dry spell, water lightly (about 1/4 inch) to trick another set of seeds to sprout.

Year 2. Plant annuals. Mulch heavily between.

Year X. Once you have gone through an annual season without too many weeds, plant perennials. Mulch heavily in between.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 10:01AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Sherwood, where were you when i was making new beds? :) With all the weeding i have to do now, i don't want to make any more beds. Except maybe for some more lilies. And that circular bed around the crabapple. And maybe a little one around the catalpa....

I'm going to try to get some straw for next year. And Round-up the bellflower before other things start coming up. And i'm really going to try to curb my plant lust, seeing as there is very little room for anything else!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Sherwood is right about exhausting the seed bank - I've been told by a gardening specialist that used to work for the research station that chickweed seeds can remain viable/dormant in the ground for up to 20 years! Yikes!

One spring the city redid ours and our neighbor's boulevard. They came the week before and used roundup, then about 10 days later they worked the soil over and smoothed it out and applyed lawn seed straight away. Those little sprouts started coming up quick .... with thousands of purslane! There were several large momma plants in the boulevard section before they used the RU, but OMG. I made a point, daily, I would take 30 minutes and pluck out the tiny purslane, since I could tell, they grew faster than the blades of grass, and their big fat greedy leaves shaded out the sun for the grass. At summer's end, we had this beautiful grassy boulevard (such a waste - I wanted junipers but city said no) and the neighbors had about 40% new grass, and the rest weeds.

Every spring dh rototills the garden, and then wants to get planting right away, then I am stuck weeding, weeding, weeding. Next year I want to try it different, rototill, leave for 10 days, hoe/pull out weeds, then plant. I know I'll still get weeds, but sheesh, they are like a groundcover in our new garden.

I find some weeding is relaxing, but not continual weeding!
This year it seemed I was so aggressive about weeding in the spring, then by midsummer the appearance of new ones really slowed down, and the ones I missed stayed real little, though they can still build a seed head, drat them!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 10:26AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

We usually leave wider rows in the vegetable garden and dh tills through the rows when the weeds get too bad. However, i find that chickweed is like mulch around things like carrots and beets. As long as the vegetables get a decent head start, you can leave much of the chickweed there and it will help hold the moisture in the soil.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 2:06PM
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I've been really impressed this year by the size of some of my weeds! Chickweed 1 1/2 feet across and 2" tall, prostrate knotweed 3 feet across - and I had it all weeded a month ago. Giant chickweed is easier to pull up than a lot of little tiny ones with thread-sized stems, though. If only my warm-season veggies would perform as well! (sigh)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 2:30PM
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