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Monday, April 24, 2006

Progress on the Pestilence Plants

I made some good progress this evening on a couple of the plants that are on my list of aggressive, mis-behaving, gotta-get-them-out-of-the-garden plants. Using my Japanese hand digging hoe, I basically dug out most of the variegated artemesia and the money wort.

I feel pretty confident I can keep up with the artemesia, since it is an annual that comes up from self-sown seed each year. I can just pull out any plants that I didn't get today when I do other light weeding through the season.

I'm not so confident that I've taken care of the money wort to any great degree. Yes, I've cut out a lot of it, but it is a perennial, so I think it will continue to try to grow from the roots and small shoots that I likely did not get. I'll probably have to spend more time pulling it out as it continues to try to grow and basically just 'wear it out'. And, just to be sure it is really gone, I'll not plant anything in that area this year, so the new plants won't interfere with my continuing efforts to eradicate this plant. It will be a bit bare along that stretch of the garden, except for a couple of daylilies, but I'm going for the long-term, so waiting a year won't be a big issue.

(I threw all the money wort I dug up into the compost bin. Yes, I did think that if it doesn't fully compost, I could end up with it all over, wherever I use that compost. It's at least all in one of the three compost bins, so I'll have to work it out that that particular compost is not used for a long, long time until I am sure the money wort is really dead and fully composted.)

And yesterday, I pulled out as much of the Bishop's goutweed as I could, so I'm making progress there, as well. Again, this one is also a perennial, so I'm sure it isn't gone for good, as I know I didn't get all of it. I'll just continue to pull out any that sprouts and wear it out, too!

Finally, an update on the English ivy. I've not gotten back to it since early spring when I hacked out a lot of it. Bags full of it went into the trash. Yet, there is still a big tangle of roots and stems that will take more time to remove. Plus, on top of it all, the two larger shrubs in that bed, a variety of St. John's Wort (Hypericum), don't look all that great. I'm not sure I can rejuvenate them, so I may be removing them soon. If I do that, then I'll try to save the three deutzias if I can but basically remove everything from that bed (other than the Star Magnolia on the corner) get all the ivy out, add new topsoil and replant. A couple of days work, I think, but quite do-able without professional help. (I also had a Hypericum in another spot, and the same thing happened. A lot of it died out and it started to look bad, so I pulled it out, so I know I can do the same with the other two.)

Now, a lot of people think of shrubs as "permanent" plants and would be surprised that after nine years, I'd have to take any shrubs out and replant. I don't consider it a big issue. I got nine good years out of these shrubs. They may just have this bad habit of dying out as they get older.

One last thought, if you are going to do a lot of gardening, invest in good tools. I can't even begin to tell you how helpful it was to have that Japanese hand digging hoe this evening. I'm not sure I could have accomplished all I did without it. (See My Garden Pictures for a picture of this marvelous garden wonder of a tool.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do you get the roots out? I had some shrubs once that I tried to remove and I never did get all of the root out. I just covered it up with dirt and planted a foot or two over.