57 varieties of weeds

I spent the weekend following an age-old May tradition. Not talking about the Kentucky Derby, but the marathon process of pulling weeds from the garden.


Alas, they are everywhere. We have the  common dandelion, Canada thistle,  possibly lambsquarters  and many to be named if I ever really get bored. I know I’m not the only one with the problem because Penn State has a whole weed management section on its website.


Penn State agent Linda Wiles from Monroe County says a weed is something that grows where you don’t want it. I’ve got plenty of those.


I’ve heard if you have dense plantings you don’t have room for weeds. I totally disagree because I spent the weekend digging up dandelions between clusters of irises and daffodils.


Frankly it doesn’t matter what the weeds are. All I care about is preventing them from coming back. Some suggestions: wood mulch and lots of it, newspaper and landscaping fabric. I always put down mulch, but realized last year that even that wasn’t enough. So I started putting layers of newspaper and pieces of landscaping fabric under the mulch. It really did help. The problem is that you have to do this after your seedlings come up. And that takes a few more weeks.


In the meantime, I’ve been complaining that I don’t get enough exercise. I might as well get out there and get to work.


Want to learn more about gardening in the Poconos? Penn State Cooperative Extension is hosting a marathon of seminars next week. Check it out.

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