June 3, 2013

Tackle weeds bit by bit


I have yet to get to the end of a vetch root, but I always enjoy a challenge. If you see me bent over and crab-walking sideways, you’ll know what I’m doing.

I admit that on occasion I have surrendered to the weeds. I have a perennial bed in the front of my house that, over the past four years, I have filled with things I really like.

One of those things is creeping phlox. A blanket of colorful, low-growing flowers in the spring is delightful - except when it gets full of grasses that have no business in a flower bed.

The first year that the grasses invaded my phlox, I dug up the whole mess, teased the grass out and replanted the phlox. The following year, I did the same thing.

This year, I dug up the whole mess and chucked it. There comes a time when the effort spent is not worth the reward.

If there were that many toast crumbs in my butter, I would chuck that too.


June is New York State Forest Pest Awareness Month, and the focus is on two pests that have the potential to cause great harm to our forests and landscape trees: the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle.

Our Master Gardener volunteers are doing a free program on Wednesday, June 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Chazy Library on Fiske Road and invite you to attend. RSVP to 561-7450.

I will be at the Plattsburgh Farmers Market on Saturday, June 15 from 9 a.m. until noon with information about what you can do to protect trees.

We need all eyes watching in order to minimize the damage from these beetles. You can also contact me to have information sent to you or to arrange a presentation for your town or group.

Jolene Wallace is the horticulture program educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. Contact her at 561-7450 or

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