June 3, 2013

Tackle weeds bit by bit

On Sunday mornings, my husband usually fixes us a delicious breakfast.

He does the cooking, and I make the toast. As I was buttering our toast last Sunday, I starting thinking about weeds in my flower beds.

Toast crumbs in the butter and weeds in the flower bed seem to have the same effect on me. They mar the image I have of how things should be.

Butter is good stuff, especially on fresh sweet corn, but toast crumbs make it less appealing. Fortunately, you can take them out easily enough and return the butter to its original state.

You can do the same with weeds in your garden, whether it’s a vegetable or flower garden, but it’s more difficult, of course. First, toast crumbs don’t grow and take over the butter dish. Weeds can multiply and spread while you’re eating dinner, taking a shower or sleeping at night. That’s their nature, so we have to outwit them whenever we can or surrender to them.

I usually try to outwit them, but it’s a challenge. One of the ways I entertain myself while digging weeds is to count how many different kinds I have and pretend the number is so high because my soil is great. It’s small consolation but better than none.

With my nemesis, vetch, I take a different approach. Vetch is attractive if you don’t mind it vining around everything that doesn’t move out of its way.

One morning my dog, Ollie, wasn’t following me around like he usually does, and I started listening for muffled barking noises. Fortunately, he had gone inside.

Vetch has a root system that has to be seen to be believed. It runs horizontally under the ground and breaks pretty easily, so I challenge myself to see how long a root I can pull before it breaks. My personal best is 23 inches.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time