Field of Science

Giving weeds no [lamb's] quarter

This has been a great year for certain weeds, weeds that are generally no so much of a problem. Thousands of sugar maple and red bud seedlings are quite usual because when you have huge sugar maple trees and many redbuds, well, that's just what you get.  In the lawns the seedlings just  get mowed, but so much of our yard are gardens woody weeds just have to be pulled or your garden starts becoming a forest, an unwanted succession.  A 3 foot tall redbud "sapling" was found in the raspberry bed, and the weed wrench (greatest tool not being sold any more as a political protest against government intrusion?) managed to pull it from the rain-softened ground 5 foot long root and all!  Hackberry seedlings are also a problem for the same reasons. This year lamb's quarter is everywhere in remarkable numbers as if someone had sprinkled it's seeds everywhere.  No idea how or why such a population boom occurred; it wasn't because we were neglectful last year. Wild lettuce and black nightshade is also pretty common this year too.  Some disturbances upwind may be the source of so many new weeds in such numbers. Pokeweed is pretty common in some areas, and in this case it's because some neighbors think poke a nice plant whose berries are good food for birds. Poke seedlings are clustered under bird perch locations, so they are quite right, and our yard provides lots of lodging while the neighbor's yard provides lots of food whose seed then gets transferred. A lot of work has gotten us to the point of almost being on top of the situation, although you realize you'll just have to do it again next year.

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