Have you heard of or tried weeding therapy? If not, you should really try it. It’s good for both the garden and the gardener in so many ways!
For the garden, weeding therapy is all about getting rid of the plant thugs that are stealing nutrients, water and space from the non-weed plants. For the gardener, weeding therapy is all about the satisfaction of getting rid of the plant thugs that are stealing nutrients, water and space from the non-weed plants while at the same working through all the problems of the garden and life in general.
With enough sessions of weeding therapy, not only will the garden look a lot better, but the gardener will also have a better outlook on the garden and life in general. It is a win-win situation for both.
There are many ways to engage in weeding therapy. Some gardeners prefer to hire it out for others to do it for them. This is perfectly acceptable, although overall results for the gardener may not be as good, but they still get the benefit of seeing the garden improve after the weeding.
Some gardeners like to engage in a little weeding therapy every day. If a gardener has the time every day, this is also perfectly acceptable, though it might be viewed by some as a tiny bit obsessive.
My preferred method of weeding therapy is to do it in longer, less frequent sessions. First I do macro-weeding, then I do micro-weeding, and finally I finish with preemptive weeding. This three phased approach saves time in the long run, helps to organize what can often be a daunting task, and provides ample time to solve all one’s problems.
Here are some simple instructions on how I do weeding therapy using this three phased approach.
First, I make a quick pass through the flower bed, or vegetable bed, and pull out any weed I can grab in my gloved hands and pull out. This is macro weeding. I’m getting rid of the obvious weeds, quickly pulling them out and tossing them aside. I don’t worry about the smaller weeds that I can’t just pull out ‘glove-handed’. I focus on the big, obvious weeds.
Once the macro-weeding is done, I return to the flower beds with a hand tool or two to hoe out the smaller weeds that I can’t really grasp and to dig out those pesky tap-rooted weeds, like dandelions, that would grow back tomorrow if at least some of the roots weren’t dug out. This is micro-weeding.
Finally, once the micro-weeding is done, I go back through and practice preemptive weeding by mulching the flower bed or path with a good layer of my favorite mulch. Right now my favorite mulch is pine bark mulch, the little pieces not the big nuggets, but I reserve the right to change my mind.
As an experienced weeder, the act of weeding is an almost automatic practice now that doesn’t require a lot of thought as to whether a plant is a weed or not. This allows me to think about other things during weeding therapy, like, well, other things. I’m thinking about how to solve problems in and out of the garden, dreaming up new ideas for in and out of the garden, and making lists in my head of what I want to do in and out of the garden.
Sometimes, if I’m on the ball with my weeding therapy, I take the time to write down some of these solutions, ideas, and lists to follow up on later. If I don’t, I may never think of them again. They are lost in the garden like a particular Cape Cod Weeder that I can't seem to find.
I hope this rain stops so that I can go to my weeding therapy session tomorrow. (And after reading this post, you probably do, too.) Maybe I’ll find my weeder or maybe I’ll solve some great mystery? Or both? At the very least, the garden will look better, and I’ll enjoy it more.
(Note: some gardeners like to resort to herbicides to avoid weeding therapy. I do not endorse this type of activity except in the most dire of circumstances which involve poison ivy or field bindweed. And then, only if those weeds are completely out of control.)