Tools of the trade.

We got a nice soaking rain this morning, making the afternoon ideal for one of my favorite actvities—weeding. I tackled the bed under the apple tree, where I spent countless sweaty hours last summer removing some ghastly plant that had spread profusely and was clearly intended (by the previous homeowner) to be there but did not live up to expectations. No flowers, uninteresting foliage; feh. Digging it out proved to be quite a chore. The roots were treelike in places, but I thought I got it all, providing a nice spot for something pretty—coreopsis, coneflowers, maybe some bee balm. Whatever this stuff is, it’s remarkably persistent. The bed was covered with leaves sprouting from little rhizomes lying right on top of the soil. Clearly, this will be a tough customer to completely eradicate.

A tip for weeding: Wear disposable latex gloves. I buy ’em by the box at Walgreens for four bucks a pop. They give you more fine-motor control than a pair of bulky garden gloves, which makes it easier to massage the roots and shake off the topsoil, which takes oh, a zillion years or so to create. If you have good soil, you don’t want to just toss it out clumped to the roots of undesirable plants. If you’re yanking a sturdy root, you can just shake it vigorously to shake the soil loose, but plants with smaller, more intricately entwined roots, you can rub the roots between your fingers and let the precious topsoil fall back from whence it came.

Posted on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 4:40 pm. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are 3 comments on this post.

  1. Sammy says:

    I like that gloves trick—been using if for a while…and thanks for teaching me about sweet woodruff the other day…. (I just know its bedstraw cousins….)

    Posted at April 3rd, 2010 at 10:13 pm

  2. Dorothy says:

    Well I wish I’d heard of this glove tip last year before I spent $20 plus tax and shipping on a pair I bought online! Well I love the ones I bought; they are nice thin fabric but seem to be very sturdy. We’ll see if they last awhile and make it worth the expense. But I just might have to keep a box of those disposables on hand now. Or swipe some at the doctor’s office next time I go! Just a pair or two to see if they really work before I invest in a whole box!! ha ha

    Posted at April 5th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

  3. tt says:

    Trust me, they are wonderful. If you’re really going at it, your fingernails may poke through, so your hands won’t be squeaky-clean. But I’ve found mine get dirty with regular garden gloves anyway. And there is something really satisfying about peeling back an utterly filthy pair of latex gloves and hearing them snap as you toss them into the trash. It’s like a little exclamation point to a good day’s work.

    Posted at April 5th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Leave a comment...?