I took a recent trip over to the L.A. Times home blog where Emily Green, author of The Dry Garden column, takes on a nasty topic: weeds. The topic of weeds reminds me of summer vacations and getting “punished” for who-knows-what. I can never remember why I’d get in trouble but the punishment was always the same – helping my Mother weed the garden.
I dreaded sticking my knees in the dirt, swatting at pesky insects and sweating in the sun as my Mother would shout at me to “pull by the roots!” For those of you that consider this task just as tedious as I, read on for some clever tips by Emily Green.
Though Green’s tips are for those of you in the SoCal area of the country, a lot of what she says can be applied elsewhere.
Overall, it’s hard to beat weeds. Even if you’re able to pull them out early on, weed seeds germinate by many other sources, like blowing through the wind or being tracked by birds, dogs and cats.
In flower beds, pulling weeds by hand is best. Do this immediately after a rain and in the early morning or late afternoon, when the soil is moist and disrupted dirt can be quickly and neatly patted down to protect roots of neighboring seedlings. When pulling, grasp as close to the root crown as you can get, then feel for the angle of least resistance and tug. The less soil you unearth while weeding, the more skillful you are becoming.
If the roots run deep, or if you’re dealing with dandelions’ tap roots, then a garden fork is helpful. Better yet, try a weeding knife (also known as an asparagus fork). Slip the fork down the root line, wiggle slightly and tug.
Anything long, strong, sharp and slender should do the job.
[via LA Times.
Photo: LA Times