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Wily little weeds



I’ve been weeding a fair bit lately, trying to be all proactive like they say I should, and it’s been a war. During the big spring clean-up when we (read my brother), weeded, trimmed and top-dressed with compost the beds looked clean, groomed and proper.


Weed free bed

Weed free bed


All the bushes (don’t ask me what they are cause I can’t tell you even under threat of torture) were starting to grow fresh vibrant little leaves, and my faith in my new found gardening skillz was replenished.



Emerging growth

Emerging growth


New little bushes

New little bushes



But the weeds came, saw and are desperately trying to conquer. They are not only popping up right through the compost mulch, they’re bringing friends, reinforcements and hold committee meetings.


I’ve been stalking them faithfully, weeder in hand but they’re smart and wily. Now they’re starting to invade the plants themselves, rooting deeply between branches and using them for cover like they went to military school for tactical training.


Invading a shrub

Invading a shrub



The long leaves belong to a smart dandelion

The long leaves belong to a smart dandelion



I’m baffled by this technique and am not sure what to do other than shear leaves to the ground and remove all flower stalks. Even google seems silent. Anyone out there deal with invasive plants of abnormal intelligence? Is there a way to root them out permanently? Or am I stuck with the impasse of damage control?



8 comments to Wily little weeds

  • Top photo: Juniper next to a Mugo Pine. Next photo Spirea (I believe). And the weed issue, not much you can do other than continually pull them. By getting at least the foliage and flowers it retards the growth of the plant. Getting the roots when the weed is so rooted in a plant is tough. Some of my stuff I had to dig out and extract the real plant from the weeds (grass in my case). That was a bad idea because I did it at the wrong time of year thus losing at least 1 rose bush and a significant clump of Iris. Good luck.

  • Ugh, I hate that! I just keep lopping them down to nothing and eventually they seem to weaken and give it up. It takes forever though. For plants like hosta that can deal with a little root disturbance I am more brutal and sort dig them out.

  • Just pull them out with as much of the roots as you can get. The seeds of weeds spread widely, and often if you mulch or cultivate the beds, the only places undisturbed is near your established plants – hence only getting weeds there. One tip is to make sure to mow away from the beds. Or with established beds that won’t have seeds planted you can try a pre-emergent herbicide like Preen – it stops seeds from being able to germinate.

  • admin

    @elle – thanks so much! I now have a hope of giving each plant what they need since I know what they are.

    @Stacy – great plan. That’s about what I’ll be doing hoping for their eventual downfall.

    @AnnF – makes perfect sense. Mowing away from the beds is the intent, but the execution fails often. 🙂 I’ll try a bit harder and hope removing the stems and leaves weakens them enough in the meantime.

  • BWAHAHAHAHAAAA. I love dandelions. Eat them up, yum! Put em in yer salad and enjoy the the little buggers! Then you can also enjoy pulling them. Or go out and pull every neighbor’s, and big fields worth, and make dandelion wine. YUMYUM!

    good luck!

  • alexbiger

    C 12 июня – Днём России!

  • Yes, they are smart and wily. So much so that they’ve extended themselves all the way into my garden… 🙂 You should see just how smart and wily they are over here!

    Pull what you can out, right down to the roots. Weeds are quite resilient and should be dealt with harshly. Show no mercy! 🙂

  • admin

    @ Adventuress – I love dandelions too, but would feel weird eating them off the lawn. The car exhaust fumes going by don’t inspire confidence.

    @ Alex – spasibo!

    @ Water Roots – no mercy at all! They are resiliently thriving as we speak. Ahem.

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