This spring and summer I've been a poster child for the old admonition, "Do what I say, not what I do," especially in the garden. Every time I give a talk on native plants, or indeed on gardening of any sort, I seriously pontificate about the need to mulch. So what didn't I do this spring after I planted and cleared out the few winter weeds I found? Mulch, of course.
And what happened? Predictably Mother Nature said, "Hey, there's way too much bare soil here. Let me fill it up fast, so it doesn't wash away."
And what did she fill it up with? Crabgrass, of course. This summer I have had entire flower beds full of the most luxuriant stands of crabgrass you've ever seen.
It happened almost overnight, of course. At least, that's how it seemed. One day I had a few little sprouts here and there, then the next day I can't see any other plants besides the 8" tall jungle of weeds.
So this week I girded my loins, figuratively if not literally, and sallied forth to do battle. Despite the heat. (I just figured that the heat was my punishment for being so stupid.) Seriously, I knew that I had to get that stuff out before it started to set seed, or I'd be in trouble for years to come.
I am proud to report that I have conquered!
I won't say that my yard is free of crabgrass, as there is always a reservoir in the lawn, but the beds are totally free of weeds, including crabgrass - at least for a day or two! I even whipped the vegetable beds into shape. The funny, sad part was that I actually discovered plants I'd put in this spring, then forgotten about because they were hidden by the weeds. Seriously. One of them, a bush clematis, was in full bloom.
On the plus side, I got a lot of great green matter for my compost pile, too.
Tonight and tomorrow morning, my task is to remedy the mulch situation. I've got many ways I'd rather spend my time this summer than on my hands and knees pulling weeds, especially in 95+ degree heat. Maybe, in fact, I can learn to follow my own advice!