Awhile back, I boldly declared that we should all embrace weeding, because no matter where you garden, weeding has to be done. There is no magic answer to controlling weeds that doesn’t require some effort. There just isn’t.
Oh sure, some methods of weeding and controlling weeds require less effort, but you will never be entirely free from weeding as long as you garden. I can promise you that, so embrace it for a happier life!
I’ve been doing a lot of embracing of weeding this season, and yet it doesn't seem like I'll ever get caught up on my weeding.
All the rain we had in May and June have caused every weed seed within the top two inches of dirt to germinate. Even my container plantings, filled this spring with fresh potting soil, seem to have more weeds this year.
The weeds are having a great year.
Fortunately, the plants I chose to put in my garden are also having a great summer, so it all looks nice and green. Just don’t get too close, or one of those thistle weeds (see below) might scrape you.
Did you ever wonder why sometimes you can walk by a little weed day after day, thinking each time you see it that you ought to pull it? It would only take a few seconds. But you don’t pull it for so many reasons.
And then one day you look down (or up!) and realize that the weed has gotten so big that you might have to rent a back hoe to dig it out. Well, maybe not a back hoe, but you do need a hori hori knife or some other tool to dig it out.
How does that weed do that, sit there looking tame and innocent until it gets big and mean? I guess it is part of their way of surviving, of living. Those weeds can teach us something about living.
Here are five lessons we can learn from the weeds…
Weeds aren’t fussy about where they end up. They will grow anywhere under less then ideal conditions. They make the best of it. Do you need to have ideal conditions to do your best, or do you make the best of whatever conditions you find yourself in?
Weeds accept a helping hand. Birds eat the mulberries, birds poo purple mulberry droppings with the seed included and the little seed quickly sprouts to establish a new, weedy mulberry tree. They accept the help of the birds. If they didn’t, all the seedlings would be competing for space right under the original mulberry tree. Do you accept a helping hand when one is offered?
Weeds come up with alternate plans. Even if a bindweed vine never flowers and sets seed, its back up plan is to grow up from the roots, again, and again, and again. Do you have an alternate plan if your first plan doesn’t work?
Weeds grow quickly and get right to work. They take full and quick advantage of the sun, rain, and freshly dug earth. Do you get right to work when you can, when you have a WOO to do something, in the garden or out of the garden?
Weeds don’t give up. Some weeds grow back from the tiniest piece of root left after you’ve pulled them. Or their seeds lie dormant for years, waiting to be turned up in a scoop of dirt and shown the light of day so they can germinate. Do you give up too easily?
Weeds do have a purpose, even if it doesn’t seem obvious. They are plants, after all. They quickly grow on bare soil which helps stop erosion. They provide food and shelter for birds and all kinds of critters and insects. And they can be pretty in their own way with blooms as attractive as many cultivated plants in the garden. And they can teach us a lesson or two or five about living.
Can you think of any other lessons we can learn from the weeds?
You might also be interested in other lessons I’ve learned from gardening… from the peas and from the hoes.
Thistle is so ugly...
I've learned where to grab thistle bare-handed and not got stuck. It's a necessary skill around May Dreams Gardens, home of the thistles.
Thanks for stopping by to sit and chat on the porch. On your way out, could you pull that little weed over there? Yes, that's the one. Thanks!