Battling the weeds

June 24, 2014

This has been an inordinately wet June, whether meteorologists say so or not.

I don’t need a rain gauge to confirm my conclusion. All I have to do is look under bushes and shrubs around my house and see perhaps the most unwanted and undesirable vegetation there is – weeds. They thrive in moist soil, moist because of all the rain, and also when the humidity is at tropical levels, which has been the case around here recently.

What I find most discouraging about most weeds is they just can’t be pulled out of the ground. Sure, you can rip them off at the surface, but those roots left behind are just waiting to sprout another green demon.

Worst of all are dandelions that at my house seem to grow against the brick foundation or in barely reachable places. I grabbed the digger, plunged it deep under the dandelion and popped it out. Whoops, that root doesn’t look long enough; there is more lurking underground. But so what. By the time it regenerates the first frost will have arrived.

So, after spending a few days deracinating as many weeds as I could, I felt confident my most dreaded summer homeowner task was over. Wrong. Another day or two of rain and Amazon-like conditions, they came back, seemingly more than ever, and among them was that unmistakable cluster of dandelion leaves.

It’s as if they colonized, almost overnight.

Now, one good thing is that I have no weeds in my yard because I pay a lawn service to spray chemicals sand fertilizer on my grass. But of course, that fertilizer, coupled with the rain, makes the grass grow way too fast, offering no respite from another homeowner chore.

However, I think I may have come up with a solution for these weeds that are immortal.

Next time the lawn service comes, I am going to have them spray under all the bushes.

“Are you sure?” they may ask. “Yes, I am sure, and frankly I don’t care if it kills the holly bushes, the azaleas, rhododendrons and all the other stuff I have had to crawl under. At least I won’t have any weeds.”

Or in the alternative, I can apply, or have someone else apply, a heaping cover of mulch that ostensibly should smother those weeds. And if one of two of them pop through, I am going to leave them there because if they can do that, they are mutants and I want nothing to do with them.

Jon Stevens is the Greene County bureau chief. He can be reached at



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