Yes weeds! With all the rain we have been having lately, the weeds are out of control. They appear over night hiding under shrubs and perennials and then shooting up through the plant to great heights. But, I just weeded yesterday. How can this happen?
And we are soooo lucky in the Lowcountry to have summer weeds and winter weeds. Right now the very worst weed is making its presence known. It is called Chamber Bitter (Phylanthus urinaria L. Just in case you wish to purchase some! ) A native of Asia, it is everywhere. It starts out as an innocent tiny plant and grows to 6-7 feet if left on its own. You can see it by the side of the road looking like a small tree.
This weed has no redeeming social value. This weed has no sense of decency. This weed has no conscience. This weed needs to be an EX-WEED. Now I am sounding like a Monty Python skit. There are hundreds of seeds under the leaves and if not pulled out early, you will have entire colonies. Fortunately, it pulls out easily. Do not compost it otherwise you will have them taking over the compost.
Then along with other lovely common weeds such as Horrible Thistle, Dogfennel, Spotted Spurge, Smutgrass, and Wandering Cudweed, we have a winter weed that comes to visit often hitching a ride with nursery plants in their containers – Hairy Wintercress. This little gem is found worldwide and gardeners in Europe bemoan finding it in their flower beds. It is an innocent little plant with tiny white flowers, but like Chamber Bitter, it has hundreds of seeds that it throws out and it can spread rapidly. It is prominent in the cooler weather, but it can hang around even in July in shadier areas. It knows no shame.
Do I have an answer for these marauders? I am not a fan of pre-emergents and herbicides. I love my pollinators and do wish to risk them to chemicals in my garden. I hand pull the weeds and discard them. I am hoping that my yard waste, which goes to a commercial composter, will be heated to a temperature that will kill weed seeds. Usually, if the compost pile is large enough, that is what happens.
So today before the next set of thunderstorms happens in the afternoon, I am pulling weeds and hoping to burn calories.
A couple of good books about weeds for your reference are:
Weeds of Southern Turfgrasses by Tim R. Murphy et al. You can get it at our local Extension Office when it re-opens or order it on Amazon.
Good Weed, Bad Weed by Nancy Gift - available at Amazon.