This last week we, my wife and I, have been putting in a fair amount of time in the yard. She more than I, but I have put in whatever time I can. Because my wife is more of the enthusiast when it comes to the lawn and garden, I am simply providing grunt work support. I move the dirt, pull weeds, dig holes, edge, etc. I am happy with my delegated place in this situation.
As I was bent over, sweating as I diligently waged my battle against the mass of weeds that infest our flower beds, I thought of the type of weeds I was dealing with. There are many of course, but they fall into two groups, taproots, and fibrous roots. I can’t decide which is worse.
Weeds with tap roots are much like an iceberg, what you see above ground may represent as little as 10% of the overall plant. You pull at the top of the thing and it will just break off to preserve the plant as a whole. Like a good little trooper, that above ground bit will sacrifice itself for the greater “good.” I have learned to use a shovel to dig up the ground around a big taproot weed to loosen the dirt, making retrieval much easier and complete, though a little time-consuming.
I’d take the taproot variety over fibrous roots any day. With taproots, they may be a lot of work, but at least I feel like I have a little victory each time I pull out one of those big suckers. The fibrous roots there is simply no winning. You can pull and pick all you want, but there is going to be some of that mass network of the plant still in there. I use the shovel to try and pull it up, only to get a mass of dirt that only represents a small portion of the nemesis. Unless out of sheer dumb luck you happen to catch the sucker before it sends out its minions of roots, you will end up picking at the plant forever unless you resort to some deadly poisons. Not something you want to do next do that savory fruit tree you just planted though.
If you even dabble in a flower bed some, you know what I am talking about here. Weeds stink; no two ways about it. Complaining about it makes me feel a little better, but I know they will be there again to fight another day no matter what I say. I’ll just keep chipping away at them, and hopefully, keep them at bay.