I don’t know about you, but I think I really need to get my hands dirty this weekend.
One day I’m amazed by how well the lettuce is growing, the next day I’m picking Velcro weeds off the cat.
Weeds have some built-in mechanism that lets them know humans will leave them alone in early spring.
Predictably, we head to Horseshoe Lake when the weather first turns beautiful. We never think about staying home to pull common groundsel from the ground.
Weeds know when our cars pull away from the driveway. This triggers them to grow two inches, produce flowers and cast seeds into the afternoon breeze.
We arrive home after dark because we languished at Shuberts Ice Cream after a hike up and down monkey face.
Last week I asked my boyfriend to buy more string for the weed whacker. I think the tall grass actually heard our conversation. We still have no string for the whacker and the tall grass has gone to seed.
DROUGHT TO BLAME
When in doubt, we can blame the drought for more weeds in the yard.
Once upon a time I would walk the perimeter of the yard each morning and most nights. I was curious to see if the dianthus had bloomed or whether the buds had opened on the grape vine.
Each time I made a circle in the yard I yanked at weeds in my path.
Now I have potted plants at the front door and lettuce growing in a black plastic truck-bed liner.
If I walk a circle around the yard it’s because I want privacy while talking on the phone.
Weeds are also going crazy in our yards because we aren’t filling up space with new plants from the nursery.
From what I’ve heard, we’re due for another blast of wet weather. This means pulling weeds is easy, and we won’t be in the park working on a pre-tan.
MORE WORDS ON WEEDS
I called my buddy Bob Scoville over at the Glenn County Master Gardener program. He is one of the nice volunteers who take classes to help answer our garden questions for free.
You can call them in Glenn County 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays at 865-1107.
In Butte County, reach a knowledgeable plant person 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays or 1-4 p.m. Thursdays by calling 538-7201.
Bob said he attended a recent workshop where one of the big discussions was choosing the right hoe.
I own a hoe, but frankly I forget how much damage I could do with a tool on a stick. Usually I want to yank those plants from the roots with my bare hands.
Hoes are perfect when the plants are mere seedlings. They’re also great for back-breaking jobs.
If you think about Velcro weeds, they naturally stick together. Using a hoe to pull Velcro weeds would be like spinning cotton candy.
Here’s a cool link to a longer discussion about different types of hoes: http://tinyurl.com/haej656
ZAP THEM EARLY
I also checked in with Jerry Mendon at Mendon’s Nursery in Paradise, and asked specifically about apply pre-emergent chemicals to the yard.
He said March is the month if you are going to try a pre-emergent, particularly for crabgrass. The tricky part is the timing, Jerry noted. You want to catch it just before the seeds from last year have a chance to sprout.
If you get on it too soon, the rain”washes the material away, he said.
One product people seem to like is called Amaze, the long-time gardener said.
“Here at the nursery we put down gravel” to control the weeds, he said.
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