Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Confessions of a Weed Puller

Alright, I'm not ashamed to admit it -- I like pulling weeds.

It's hard for me to walk through our side yard -- or any yard, for that matter -- without stooping to pull a weed or two or three or more. I'm always in pursuit of that perfect, weed-free lawn, but in all my years of yard work, I've never had one. But I'm close to it now.

There's something very satisfying about the feel of a weed coming out of the ground, root and all. You can actually feel the roots tearing from the soil, releasing their hold on the earth. Then when the weed is free and clear of the ground and I see the entire root system intact, I feel a sense of satisfaction.

I don't like to use chemicals on my lawn or plants, so I try to use natural methods to control weeds, fertilize, and maintain my landscape. Pulling weeds is actually one of the better methods, and it's free. Anytime I walk through the yard, I spend 3 or 4 minutes pulling a handful of weeds, and the effort pays off. Right now, my side yard is virtually weed free and looks better than any yard I've ever had. Of course, its the smallest yard I've ever had, so it certainly is the easiest to maintain. It's just too difficult to keep large yards weed free by hand unless you spend an inordinate amount of time doing so.

But with a small yard, I find the weeds are pretty easy to control. There is one weed which has plagued me in all my yards over the years, and I don't know what it is. It blends in with grass nicely, so it may be some type of grass. The leaf is broader and flatter than normal Bermuda grass, almost like St. Augustine. When allowed to linger in a yard, the base becomes an ever widening clump, spreading out month by month and year by year, and pushing good grass out of the way. After it is established, you really have to dig down to get the entire root system out, so I try to catch this invasive species while it is young.

I have to control myself on my neighborhood walks. There are weeds in yards that I really want to pull, but I remind myself that I have no business trespassing in the yards other folks.

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