Friday, June 10, 2011

The Epic Battle of Miriam against THE WEED

I better start out by saying that I am no Martha Stewart. You won't find me creating perfect centerpieces and creative name cards for all my soirees. My cooking is basic, my home is hardly pristine and the decorating is less than picture perfect. I hardly dare to say that I like gardening. That might cause one to come to my home with visions of lush flower beds brimming with color and a neat and tidy vegetable garden laid in symetrical, neat, weed-free rows. The reality is that I am still trying to figure out how to keep the flowers from drying up in the heat of summer, how to keep the deer from eating the tulips and tomatoes, and how to keep THE WEED from taking over my garden.

I have been doing battle with THE WEED when I can squeeze in time between photography and family time. I don't know what it is but it has been slowly taking over my garden for the last three years. Maybe someone will tell me what it is and I really hope they will tell me about some nasty chemical that will kill it.  It looks like an ancient plant that has been around since the Paleozoic Era.

Here is what I have learned about it after three years of battle: 1) It thinks that Round-up is a new kind of plant food. 2) It laughs in the face of Cross-bow. 3) Hoeing or pulling doesn't get rid of it because it sends out runners underground and reproduces itself from this underground root system. 4) Think you can go after all the underground roots? Guess again. The roots break easily and I strongly suspect that breaking the roots is like cutting an earthworm in two. Now you have two earthworms.

I do have a battle plan. It came to me this morning as I was digging up huge clumps of earth and painstakingly breaking the clumps apart and fishing out every root. I have boards that define my low lying raised beds with wood chips covering the walk ways between the beds. THE WEED has invaded the beds but they are the thickest in the walkways between the beds. My new plan is to whack down the plants that are above ground and lay down Preen over the wood chips. "If I can keep it from sprouting in the walkways and keep digging it out of the beds, maybe it will be gone in another three years?" she says hopefully.

Neil and I thought of a new business venure. Is there anyone you don't like? We could go plant this in their garden for you. At night, of course. Please pay in advance. :-)


pbo said...


I think you have horsetails. Here is one link to read more about them!

If that is what they are, they were also used as pot scrubbers in the old days!!
Phyllis B.

Miriam said...

Thanks for illuminating me. I knew someone would tell me what they were and I was afraid that you might tell me they are actually GOOD plants. I suppose I should feel guilty about saying such mean things. If I hurt their little feelings, will they go away?