Saturday, October 13, 2012

Excuses not to weed or deadhead

At Several Gardens Farm we care for the animals and the orchard, grow some veggies, try to keep the neighbors happy and the kid too busy to play computer games. Deadheading doesn't even make it onto the list. Weeding the perenial beds ison an as needed basis for safety or to clear space for my plants to survive. Only when I'm caught up on everything do the two get done to completion.

Most people understand this at once, but occasionally I see people giving our weeds some quizzical glances. They say things like "I wish I weren't wearing white pants - I'd help you weed" or "I love how you let your garden naturalize. I always pull those things out." Like I have time for that.

So - if you are like me, and let things go a bit, you may need a few excuses. Here's my list. I'd love you to add to it.

My chickens eat the seed heads. 

Great for old sunflowers, gone-to-seed pig weed, grain crops of all kinds.  Hint - goats and rabbits eat things too! And wildlife of all kinds.

I'm using the roots to prevent back pain. 

 I save my back by not pulling those babies out! This excuse works with anything big, stubborn, or numerous.
So many weeds - so little interest in pulling them.

There are some cool  mushrooms that grow in the mulch. I think they may be symbiotic with the plant life.

These Stropharia ambigua aren't edible, just too pretty to risk crushing while I weed.

I think they are gorgeous after they go to seed. 

Artichokes in particular are worth growing for the bloom if you forget to eat them!

Thank you Heidi for teaching me to see these in all their beauty!

You can get lost in that color

It's a honey plant. 

This is especially good with a spring "crop" of lawn dandelions, those overgrown borage plants or for pearly everlasting. If the guest asks for a sample of the honey, you reply that it's so valuable to the bees that you leave it in the hive and never collect the honey for human use.
Don't pull the weeds or we'll sting!
More nectar

If you don't keep bees,  say "this is an important plant for native pollinators".

That works better than my old line "thatch ants metabolize the lipids in the seed capsules."


I was too busy preserving the harvest. 

That one's a little smug, but in fact, harvesting, canning, drying, pickling - it takes time!

 I leave them here to reduce evaporation from the soil 

works for nasturtiums, borage, claytonia, etc - the pretty weeds. Plant cover really does benefit the soil, and if I have volunteer plants, I often let them be my cover crops.

Seriously, this plant is holding down the soil. I can't pull it.

Oh - I didn't notice that! 

Use this for huge, unseemly, sprawling weeds or old, nearly dead garden plants. Use a sweet, self effacing tone, don't lay on the sarcasm.

Fireweed, hawkweed, volunteer hazel sprouts and gone-to-seed Shasta daisy

I keep planning to do it, but it just isn't happening this year. 

That's the good old honest truth. We had fun this year, and difficult times too. We nursed sickness, we dealt with problems, some serious, some silly. We danced and met new babies. We lived. We kept meaning to weed, but other things got in the way...

Note - certain invasive weeds have no place in a garden - Himalayan blackberry, perennial morning glory, butterfly weed, etc. I do my best to fight these, though they return again and again. The things I'm not afraid to slack on are the more run of the mill weeds.

Shared on Simple Lives Thursday, Frugally sustainable


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