no, silly. not that kind, at least, not in this post. :-)
So Lambert has been asking questions in the CHRR series like these about weeds in the garden. I think he and I have different weed issues, so I'll post mine here and if you have any links or thoughts, go for it in the comments. One of the more frustrating things for me as a gardener is just when I get one under control, it seems like a new species discovers my space. Sigh.
My garlic is blooming, isn't it cute? But the point here is that raised beds work, if you can afford them and have the time to put them in. This one sits surrounded by a sea of grass and weeds (because I don't mind weeds in the lawn, they just get mowed down) but a simple layer of two year old leaf mulch on top of the bed means no worries or work.
My ideal and best raised bed is 5 4x6s high and I refill it with compost twice a year to keep the level of the dirt that high off the ground.
The Enemy. I'm not sure what the "official" name is, to be honest. It was here when I got here, here when I was but a twinkle in my father's eye, here when Jeebus rode the first Dinosaur with Eve... Anyway, I've heard it called "crabgrass," "quackgrass" and a mess of other names, as I have heard of most grass weeds called many names depending on where one lives. Unlike Lb's problem grass, this one spreads by seed, which you can see, sort of:
It's like wheat and other grasses... but. The root systems are also killer. I was shocked in the very worst way to discover how deep, how quick and how far they spread. Getting rid of the root systems is probably nigh impossible here. And while they don't seem to move the invader along as widely as the seeds, they surely don't help.
Purselane is edible. So I tolerate it. However, it's insanely aggressive and is one of the top plants that require very heavy mulching in the veggie beds, as well as contant vigilance. It's really tasty as a salad green, tho. In the Hard Times, I can see people eating a great deal of this stuff, it requires nothing but a little organic matter to grow and is very vitamin rich. Purselane is a staple in other parts of the world as a food source.
I don't know exactly what this is, but it seems to act as a nitrogen fixer, so sometimes I'll let it come up. It makes a very attractive bloom if you let it get big, as well as a sizable plant that is very hardy. It's a bitch to rip out and weed by hand, otoh.
Good gravy I hate this crap. Really aggressive in early spring, and a fast mover. The bloom can be cute, but not enough to tolerate. This is one of those plants that gets big and annoying, rather than makes lots of babies and spreads via root and seed.
Sorry this shot isn't what I meant; I got caught in some rain and had to hurry. The point of this pic is to warn folks about their borders: wild weed grasses can get sooooo tall. And it only takes one. That is, even if you regularly keep the weeds along your borders clipped and low, there's always that one "over there, where no one can see it, so who cares?" Just don't do it, my Friends. Rip up tall grasses and keep the rest mowed, short, mulched or dead.
Success! A neighbor loaned me some (just barely by my organic standards) "natural" weed killer to try on a border. Obviously, it worked. One application and this is what I get. However, I found the cost prohibitive and won't be using it except sparingly, if at all.
"Wild garlic" is totally invasive here, and believe me it puts the "i" in invade. My sister tells me all sorts of bad things about this and other similar invasive non-natives taking over our 5b as Global Climate Change makes that rating less relevant. It will get very, very big if you let it.
"Wild Ivy" and a little "quackgrass" pushing thru. Two weeds that are very difficult to manage here, as the former will grow over rocks, landscaping cloth, leaves, etc, and root and the latter will grow up thru the most densely planted anything. Be very careful composting the wild ivy, it's not afraid of any harsh conditions and only needs one living leaf to establish.
You wouldn't know by looking, but this is a patch of weeds in my lawn, where the grass is very old and very established. Again, I don't know what this one is but I swear, if we had it last year we had way, way less. I'm disturbed that where the lawn faltered a bit, it came in as a replacement with a vengeance. It's everywhere, too: sun, shade, veggie and cultivar beds. Luckily, it doesn't tend to come up very thick unless left untended for a while.
Clover: The Good Weed. This is a nitrogen fixer I ordered two years ago from Territorial Seeds. It is the softest, most wonderful thing your feet have ever felt. I had to use it on a very problematic area, but it's a champ and only failed in one small spot. Over time, this will replace all grass of all kinds here, and fill in the walkways and border areas around my beds. I think the trick is to 1) clear an area where you want to replace the grass, whatever and 2) start a small clump of clover and as it spreads outward over time 3) "pull back" or de-sod increasingly large circles around where you want the clover to grow. Not all clover is the same, I am no expert but this stuff is way different than the 'common' variety currently in the yard. And like I said, so pretty, and heaven to walk upon. Slow moving, so far, but that may be a water issue as where I have the big patch it's pretty hot and dry.
The failure of landscaping cloth in the face of my Evil grass-weed. Yes, that's a grassy weed and yes, it's coming up among rocks set atop double rolled cloth and discouraged in the spring with some organic neutralizers. And it laughs in the face of all that. If I let it go, by the end of the month (this month, even) you'd have a hard time finding the rocks.
I suppose this is why Americans became addicted to the decorative grass lawn and chemical cycle. You can see the decorative grass, and the Evil weed-grass, and probably tell who is winning that competition. Again, I'd rather have a densely planted bed of variously tall blooming cultivars than fight this war, and in time, I will. But I weed enough as it is, I'll be damned if I'm going to weed the grass part of my lawn as well.
Just because I refuse to end on a weedy note. Rudbekia is so short here this year, but prolific. Dunno why.
Let's see your successes, and failures!