Monday, May 2, 2011


I think weeding is probably the garden task I spend the least amount of time on.

For annuals and veggies, I always mark where I’ve put seeds. With large seeds like beans or squash I mark each seed individually, smaller seeds I mark out the area. Tiny seeds like lettuce and carrot are going to be immediately obvious as desirables because you’ll have tons of tiny identical seedlings, all the same size coming up at exactly the same time. The “weeds” in these squares, beds or rows are the ones that look different.

The thing with weeds is that they won’t grow where they aren’t welcome. In a mature vegetable garden, one that’s been weeded, planted and amended for years, you simply won’t have much of a problem with extraneous plants, because you’ll never have let the undesirables go to seed in these beds. In perennial/ornamental beds, your plants should provide enough ground coverage and shade that the opportunistic weeds will just have too much trouble grabbing hold. Even lawn will need only minimal weeding, without chemicals, if you properly aerate, mow and reseed.

If you are amending your soil and avoiding compaction, weeds are easy to remove, because you’re not fighting the texture. You can let them get large enough to ID (a few inches) and still have time to pull them before they either develop a monster taproot, or go to seed. I have accidentally pulled plants that I thought were weeds, later realizing that they were cultivars, but you know what? No biggie, shit happens. You’re unlikely to accidentally pull something really mature, because first, you’ll remember it, and second, it’ll look big and important so you’re unlikely to pull it without thinking twice.

Not all weeds are undesirable, just as not all cultivars are good. I happily let the wild onions go crazy, and the lambs quarters, but I’d give anything to be able to get rid of the ground phlox, Queen Annes Lace and Knotweed that some idiot planted in our neighborhood on purpose.

Lemon-lavender syrup
3 lemons
1/4 cup dried lavendar flowers
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Ream the lemons-- get as much of the juice and pulp as you can-- into a small sauce pan. Dump everything else in there too and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, and reduce to 2 cups, about 10-15 minutes.


  1. Weeds are a pain!We have crab grass. Sometimes when I pull it, it seems 6 ft long! If you toss it in your yard and not a proper green waste bin, it will continue to grow! That recipe sounds like it smells heavenly!

  2. I leave my pulled weeds on the sidewalk and don't try to compost them until they are dry and dead. Otherwise, they'll just take hold in the compost!