It’s a Nice Day for a Weeding

DSC_0025Yippee!  After days of bitter cold, we’ve had a glorious, sunny day. Even the birds in Mr. Prickles’ Magnolia tree are filled with song. What a perfect day to pull weeds.*

Of course, one thing leads to another so while I was at it I turned the compost barrel and flipped the compost in the bin. It’s all coming along nicely. I got in a good rake as well. My organizing side likes the order that comes with pulled weeds and raked needles. Being close to the earth is nice, too.

It was sad to see so much frost damage. Several of the ferns were hard hit, though ironically, the orange tree looks okay. I’m leaving the dwarf lemon under frost cloth for a few more days, though we’ve finally warmed up to a seasonal norm.

I looked in on the worms in the worm bin. Those wigglers are looking fat and happy. It guess it’s all those apple cores and organic broccoli heads. Tee-hee!

We’ve had a high of 57 F (13C)  today with projections of 65 F (18C) by the weekend.  I know it’s just a tease, but judging by all the buds breaking out, spring is on the way.

winter garden collage

A. Leaf pile
B. Frost damage
C. Nesting material (laundry lint)
D. Peek-a-boo
E. Healthy orange tree

*with apologies, if you’ve read this far looking for wedding advice.

Weeds: Green Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Oxalis, pretending to be ground cover

If you garden, you weed.  The end.

Seriously, every garden has weeds; it’s only a matter of degrees.  I’m an expert weeder myself, probably because pulling weeds falls into the category of garden organization.  I  pull weeds and restore order.  It’s therapeutic clearing out the interlopers, those pervasive plants that sneak into the garden beds when you aren’t looking.  They pretend to be the real deal as they vie for water and nutrients, using clever camouflage and stealth tactics to avoid detection.  I know the regulars around town: oxalis, dandelions and spotted surge. Now and again I spot something new and unfamiliar.  I pause overhead, garden fork in hand, wondering if I should give the newcomer a chance.  I once let a glossy green plant grow in our side yard, only to learn from my friend Doug that it was invasive.  It’s still popping up!  I’ve also yanked out plants, only to realize it was an annual re-seeding from the previous year.  I was amused to discover this week that the plant I left growing next to the Chinese Pistache is a volunteer broccoli plant.  How fun that was!

When you garden you have an intimate knowledge of weeds and their habits; where they’ll grow and when. If you don’t pull them out by the roots early, they’ll flower and drop seeds.  Once they go to seed you’ve extended an open-ended invitation to return year after year.

To Weed, or Not to Weed?

I made my rounds today, fork in hand, with a strong wind kicking up pollen.  We have rain in the forecast, so I figured I would get this first round done before the rain helps plant a new batch.

Do you have a garden “chore” that you secretly love?