Friday, September 16, 2016
_______________________ IN PRAISE OF WEEDS ________________________
Look at this thin strip of shaded garden along the side of our house. To the left and to the right in the photo are two plants that were purchased from the local garden centre. These rather dull muted green plants owe their existence in the garden to the advice given by the grand masters at the garden centre. The vibrant, lush, healthy green plants between these two official straggly plantings are a myriad of weeds. Personally I like the look of the weeds much more than the expensive garden centre offerings.
The official advice is that I should concur with standard best practice, view and note relevant exemplars and vigorously rip out the weeds. But I like my lush emerald green weeds. Perhaps if I just leave them alone and let them grow, in summer they will flower with wild, free, splendid meadow colour.
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What you've got there is a prize winning crop of oxalis. It will indeed bear delicate pretty pink flowers, but the trouble is that that plant is a tough and persistent and prolific little bugger and within a year or two your garden will consist of oxalis and only of oxalis. Which is fine if that's what you want. Gardens are like many other things- the joy is in getting then the way you want but weeds spoil the party by gate crashing and bringing their own crates of beer and stacks of nasty LPs. A weed is any plants that's where you don't want it to be. And the easiest approach with oxalis is to let it have the garden if that's what it email@example.com and get on with the sailing. Me? I'd spray the little bastards.
I concur with Kelvin...Oxalis is a wolf in sheeps clothing, get rid of it and that means ALL its fat white tubers too....
Kelvin, as HRH Prince Charles would do I spoke to the Oxalis this morning and relayed your point of view. Needless to say they consider your scorched earth policy heartless and discriminatory. I have heard murmurings that they are consulting their friends the Kikuyu and are planning an invasion of your garden.
Thank you for the information about Oxalis flowering. Armed with this new information, when I harvest my crop of Oxalis seeds for sale at the local garden centre I shall have written on the packets - 'Oxalis, a resilient quick growing, vibrant emerald green plant with beautiful pink summer flowers that will grow just about anywhere'. I will add in brackets (Very, very, very hard to get rid of) which should please people and let them know they have bought a real bargain.
Paul, it is impossible to get rid of the stuff unless you actually dig whole trailer loads of earth out of the garden and replace with fresh soil. On the other side of our house where we have planted out all our new pots etc (see previous post) there is a small strip of garden we replanted that is approximately 15 square metres in size. We have removed buckets and buckets of tubers and bulbs (onion weed) but still the stuff keeps coming back. I guess this fact is why 'Weeding' comes with the territory called 'Gardening'.
Persistence is the key. When we moved here we had impressive quantities of convolvulus and old man's beard in our many shrubs and trees. We, and by "we" I mean Clemency, dealt with it by pulling it off the trees whenever she saw it, and digging up the roots wherever possible, working on the theory that if she deprived it of photosynthesis it would eventually die. I took about 3 years but she won: there's pretty much none left no what there is is weak and stringy and easily dealt with. Oxalis can be sprayed, but the corms in the ground will email no grow back pretty quickly. But if you are persistent it will die out eventually. Try to prevent it flowering, and try to kill off as much foliage as possible. If you don't like artificial sprays there are some organise alternatives, and dosing it with boiling water can be pretty effective.
Thanks for the advice Kelvin. We basically have three gardens. The thin strip bordering the driveway which features in this post full of Oxalis (which can be weeded in about 10 - 15 minutes), a strip of garden at the back of the house which is in the background in my last post and a third garden that is made up of all our new pots of various sizes. The strip of garden at the back of the house has been thoroughly weeded by Christine and is of a size that can be easily managed over time. At the moment the new pots act like weedless islands, their soil being a cocktail of various potting mixes and manures. If these islands are invaded they can be easily weeded and if required the soil completely replaced. Despite the reasonably easy (I hope) projected weed management it's good to know the stuff can be ultimately defeated.
........ although, I must say I am tempted to give the driveway garden over to the glowing oxalis as emerald green as St Patricks day.
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