I’m pretty useless at intensive, focused weeding. I’m always going ‘Squirrel!!’ or running away from the bugs. But I am pretty good at wandering about ten minutes here, ten minutes there, here a weed, there a weed.

We have a couple of particularly aggressive, rhizome/root mat spreading weeds. Bishop’s Weed anyone? It is well and truly entangled in the garden, which has a number of either delicately rooted perennials or perennials that do the self seed/root spreading thing as well. In other words, hard to weed. So, what does one do? Well, the easiest thing is to basically give up on it. The other option is to re-dig the whole thing and remove all suspect roots. I’ve tried that in a vegetable garden, wherein one can remove Everything, even there it doesn’t quite work.  So I’m experimenting with another approach, which I trialed last year on a very small area. And which worked to gain control, though not eradication, of Garlic Mustard on a very large scale.

Step One: stop believing that the weed is some super power. It grows and dies just like any other plant. Step Two: perfect is the enemy of the good: the day isn’t great for weeding, you don’t have that much time or energy, you don’t finish the whole thing…ok, but you did something. Step Three: If you see a leaf of the enemy you pull it or break it off. You don’t try to eradicate the whole plant (root mats here) You simply make it very, very hard for that plant to compete. No leaves, no plant. Yes, it will pop back up again, but guess what? I’ll be walking past again. If the deer can eradicate choice perennials that way, by coming past nightly and eating as they walk, I figure it ought to work. We will see.