The morning started with rain and thunder, and so far, we’ve had a quarter inch of rain. Lucky, Jim mowed yesterday, so the yard at least looks good.
If it would rain an inch every weekend from now until–say–October 1, I wouldn’t have to haul hose and buckets. That’d be good.
The chrysanthemums and Autumn Joy sedum are in bloom. It looks like I’ve successfully eliminated the balsam that reseeded every year. Now, all I have to worry about are the trees, one of which looks like it has borers. More on that tomorrow.
I’m not going to actually air my weeds in public. So here is a photo of my favorite reading fairy, swimming in a sea of sedum and daylilies.
But trust me. I got weeds.
Today was a gift from the gardening gods–an inch of rain last night, sunny this morning and in the low 70’s (Fahrenheit) with a cool breeze straight out of the north. Yum.
But with the rain and cooler temps, here comes a whole new crop of weeds that must be hand-pulled.
I’m particularly dismayed by the horse nettle with it’s thorns and absolute delight when sprayed. Glyphosate? Horse nettle soaks it in and multiplies. Salt and vinegar and dish soap? Horse nettle chortles and cries, “More, gimme more.” I spent the morning with spade, pruners and tongs (as opposed to bell, book and candle), removing horse nettle by hand.
About ten years ago, I bought a hanging planter that included purslane. My first mistake.
Back then, my powers of identification were poor at best. When I started seeing this not-horrible plant in my garden beds, I let it go. My second mistake.
Now, I’m overrun by purslane. I’ll walk away after clearing a bed, come back half an hour later, and tiny purslane weeds have taken over. A fast grower, purslane can throw seeds a fair distance from the mother plant. It also re-roots from stems and leaves. Purslane also loves most herbicides.
As you’ve guessed by not, this plant–like most invasive plants–is a super-survivor. I suppose that’s a good thing if you want to eat purslane. It is edible, and Europeans use it in salads–young stems, leaves, and flower buds are especially delicious if you like salty-sour. I’ve tried it, and find the mucilaginous leaves–think succulent–off-putting.
What it absolutely needs is sunlight to germinate, so the key is to weed by hand as fast as possible, and cover bare areas with mulch, black plastic, newspaper. Of course, the minute I uncover an area, here comes the purslane.
My third and final mistake has been to throw the pulled plants into my burn pile without burning immediately. Most of the gardening sites recommend bagging purslane weeds to prevent spreading.
That’s what I’m doing. Starting tomorrow.
Meanwhile, here are some pics of my neighbor’s un-mowed field. Pretty, right? I wonder if he’s got purslane growing in there.
Bright sun, blue skies, low humidity and not too warm. A perfect spring day and it may be one of the last. Spring is coming to an end. The tulips are tapped out, the peonies are almost finished, the roses are in bloom and the lilies are just beginning to flower. Summer is coming.
But rain is predicted for every single day next week, through Thursday. We do not need more rain.
Although, my clematis Blue Fountain–shown in the photo–loves the rain. Blooming profusely, it has taken over. I’ve had to cut back vines to uncover the hydrangea.
Today’s my day to weed the asparagus bed. The stalks have started to fern, promise of asparagus next spring. Maybe by then we’ll be ready for them.