Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
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.