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Weeding points of view

I’ve realized after all of this discussion of my new hori hori that I haven’t bothered to actually explain what I consider a weed. As anyone who has seen the yard would expect, I don’t follow the conventional definition for weeds. I mean, I do follow the standard definition of a weed being any plant growing where you don’t want it. I just don’t believe that a yard has to have a lawn made of conventional grass and am a little enamored of the idea of a clover lawn for its bee-attracting qualities and drought tolerance.

As we don’t follow the standard conventions of plant choice and placement, my weeding sessions tend to be concentrated on whatever specific plant is making life hard. This month it’s the tansy ragwort, and in fact all of the noxious weeds are on the list. Beyond that it tends to be things that spread too quickly1 or things that actively make me itch. Some day dandelions might make the list, but they’re just too small potatoes to worry about yet. I’m far more concerned about the big leaf maple and alder starts.

In fact, part of the reason that we have such a terrible outbreak of the ragwort is this lax approach to plant placement. Strange things are cropping up in the yard all the time, and if I don’t know what they are right away and they look interesting we just let them grow to see what they turn out to be. Sometimes it results in fun interesting plants, and sometimes it ends up being something nasty. I think that for future plants I’ll be looking the up earlier to see if they need to come out or can be allowed to spread. I’ve been surprised by the sheer number of nasty things that can show up.

  1. Himalayan Blackberry []

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.