It’s been a busy weekend so I didn’t get to read my weekend newspapers until Sunday afternoon. One short question and answer article caught my eye (Vancouver Sun, Saturday February 20, 2021, F6). It was a question about a common weed called bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta).
The answer was spot on. First, identify the weed. Some beautiful perennials look weedy without flowers so get to know your common weed species.\
Second, never let weeds produce seeds. Once you see flowers, you know it’s time to act. Otherwise, your garden will be full of weed seeds.
Bittercress is a fun weed because when the flowers produce seeds, the plant turns from green to yellow. Then the seed pods wait for you to touch them so they can explode and scatter their contents. If you get close enough, you can feel the seeds hitting your skin. Or, you can catch them in your hand. Thus the common name snapweed. Try it in your neighbor’s garden.
The weed is fairly easy to uproot. Use a hand tool or a full cultivator. Only use your hands if you have just a few specimens to weed out. Always try to use tools. A simple hand cultivator from Home Depot will only cost you $5.
Larger areas require full size cultivators and rakes. Once you up-root the weeds, you can rake them up and remove them. This will leave your bed area clean and fluffy.
Yes, your cultivation will inevitably bring some weed seeds up to the surface but if you stay on top of it, they won’t stand a chance. The up-side is a nice looking, weed-free, fluffy bed.
People hate weeding! Dudes at work would rather backpack blow all day then finesse beds. But, you can make it fun. Think of the weeds. They’re still pretty amazing plants. They’re just not where we want them to be.
Many weeds are edible; and many are beautiful.
You can also make extra money with weeding. My client Pierre periodically calls me over to take care of his “herbs”. Herbs, right. More like mats of the same Cardamine. You can read the blog post here.