Today feels like summer outside. It’s 62° and the sun is shinning. It’s time to venture outside to survey gardens and start the spring cleanup.
Two daughters, one in Kentucky, one in New Hampshire, have sent emails that they’re working in their yards today. The New Hampshire daughter has a huge job of raking and bagging leaves in her fenced-in backyard in Portsmouth. They do keep enough leaves for their compost but we’re talking about tons of leaves, folks. She has shrubs but no ornamental gardens… yet. Give her time. She’s only been living there 8 months.
Alas, the Kentucky daughter has a different garden mess to contend with in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b. An avid gardener, she has ornamental, vegetable and water gardens. Warming trends have brought her many more weed varieties that she did not have in her gardens 5 years ago. The problem is literally taking her to her knees… to pull weeds.
She asked me to identify some of her worst offenders. Her emails pictured the same weeds that were the bane of my existence in Virginia. She has henbit and purple dead nettle with their deceivingly lovely purple flowers, covered with bees in early spring.
I warned her about getting too close to the dangerous hairy bittercress that she described with its spring-loaded seeds that can almost blind a gardener. Hope she eradicates this because a large one can spew up to a thousand seeds. Since she’s organic, she must dig and pull, bag and discard, mulch and mulch and mulch.
As for me, I’m walking around this New Hampshire yard (knock on wood) and I see no weeds… not a one…yet. It may be too early for weeds to show themselves around here, but I am hopeful and optimistic that the weeds of my wonderful Virginia in zone 7b will not find me in zone 5b.