Over the past year or so, my wife and I have been fighting the battle of the weeds in our yard. I hate these nuisance plants, which seem bound and determined to torment me.
Our neighborhood, like many in Wilkes, is built on what was once a cow pasture. The lawn was well-seeded, but crabgrass and other weeds remained, prolific breeders as they are.
The first weed we see popping up each spring is the wild yard onion. While everything else appears drab and dormant, the bright green shoots of the onions pop up.
They make the yard look pretty ragged and leave a strong onion/garlic odor on your hands when you pull them up. We went to war with them this year. These are pesky devils because they spread both by seed and bulbs, which multiply in the topsoil.
I read online that the tops of the onions can be used for salads, potatoes and such—sort of like chives—but that care must be taken to not eat any that have been exposed to any chemicals used to kill weeds. That means you shouldn’t eat any of our yard onions unless you have a taste for Roundup.
Ridding our yard of the onions, though only partly successful, next gave way to the real villain: crabgrass.
The HGTV website describes crabgrass as an “annual weed common to North American lawns (that is) the iconic scourge of homeowners as weather grows warm.”
What makes crabgrass really problematic is that a single plant produces as many as 150,000 seeds that are easily spread by the wind, according to the website.
In addition, crabgrass sits low to the ground, meaning that lawnmower blades don’t reach much of it. What the blades really do is bother seed heads, which “scatter seeds and accelerate propagation.”
The treatment, in our case, was to dig up the crabgrass and apply “weed and feed” to kill it all. It was a backbreaking process, and I’m not exaggerating. After being fairly inactive over the winter, we both paid for this exertion with sore backs.
We then waited a couple of weeks and re-seeded with proper fescue. So far, our experiment seems to be paying off. The new grass is growing and the crabgrass has taken a whipping, at least for the time being.
This fall, when temperatures are on the decline, I think we’ll put down another batch of seed. From what I can see, this is going to be a continual process.
My other foe in the yard is our “knock-out” rose bushes. We have several, and they are really attractive from the spring through the early fall.
They are easy to grow, which means that they are pretty much immune to my poor planting success. They’re sort of like “roses for dummies.” You just find a sunny spot, put them in the ground, surround them with potting soil and let them do their thing.
Still, they have to be cut back every now and again, and I had to go through that process last week. No matter what I wear—gloves and long sleeves—I walk away bleeding when I’m handling the roses.
They’re beautiful, but they make you pay for troubling their solitude.