1 The outdoor grounds crew has their work cut out for them in the gardens - they've been in the beds removing the weeds by hand. Several wheelbarrows of weeds go to the compost pile every day.
2 I don't use any chemicals in my gardens, so we do tend to get a lot of weeds during this time. It just takes patience and elbow grease to get them all out.
3 Weeds may be annuals, biennials or perennials. Annual weeds are the easiest to control. They complete their life cycles in a year or less. Biennial weeds form roots and a rosette of leaves the first year and set seed the second. Perennial weeds live for more than two years.
4 We save some of the weeds for the chickens - chickens love to snack on chickweed. We separated the chickweed and put them in a trug bucket.
5 There are many types of tools that help with weeding. I prefer the short hand tools best, so as not to disturb any of the neighboring non-weed specimens.
6 A sturdy square hand hoe is designed to reduce effort in trenching, planting and chopping up soil. The curved blade cuts through stubborn weed roots and breaks tough, sun-baked clay. This is from the Gardener's Supply Company. http://www.gardeners.com
7 This weeder is also known as a daisy grubber - it is a long screwdriver-shaped tool used to remove weeds without damaging grass. The narrow design and split blade make the tool effective when weeding in small places such as between paving stones.
9 Used with the blade flat to the ground, it slices off the weeds right at soil level - so easy to use. Every gardener who deals with pesky weeds should have one.
10 This 12-inch long Japanese sickle leaves neighboring plants undisturbed. Its wooden handle is comfortable to grip and use in any garden bed.
12 A CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator is good for everything from weeding, digging and cultivating, to edging, transplanting and furrowing.
13 This Japanese-inspired multi-tool is called a Hori Hori knife - a soil knife, trowel, twine cutter, weeder and more. The double-edged, rust-resistant blade is serrated on one side and sharpened on the other. Inch markings measure planting depth.
14 Chickweed is an annual weed that prefers shady, moist soil, although its seeds will sprout in dry soil. The easiest way to control chickweed is to pull individual plants.
15 Dawa carefully removes the chickweed growing near the Muscari by the clematis pergola.
16 Dandelion features a deep, fleshy taproot which often branches. Leaves branching from the taproot form into rosettes and can remain green throughout the year. The leaf margins are deeply lobed with the lobes pointing backward toward the base.
17 Dandelion features yellow flowers that are produced on individual leafless stalks.
18 Replacing these flowers are the seeds which form spherical puffs at the tip of the stems.
19 The dandelion roots and leaves have been used to treat liver problems. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, and in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dandelion has been used to treat stomach issues, and appendicitis.
20 While dandelions are yellow, they do look pretty dotting the lawns, but I prefer the lawns to be dandelion free.
21 Garlic mustard is fast spreading and can grow in most soil types. It can also grow in full sun or full shade. Be sure to pull these weeds during flowering, before the plants produce seed. And, pull at the base of the plant to remove the entire root.
22 Common wood sorrel blooms in spring, with small white flowers with pink streaks. It is found in open woods, prairies, and lawns. The leaflets are made up by three heart-shaped leaves, folded through the middle.
23 White or Dutch clover can be persistent, widely adapted producers with leaves that grow in sets of three leaflets. Each leaflet is tear shaped and many have a stripe across it. White clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots wherever a stem node touches the ground.
24 Crabgrass gets it name from the leaves, which form a tight, crab-like circle. It can become a problem quickly during the summer because it is able to grow vigorously in hot, dry conditions. Discourage crabgrass by mowing at the proper height for grass type.
25 There was also weeding being done in the tree peony garden.
26 Wilmer carefully removes all the weeds from around the garden plants.
27 Wild onion and wild garlic have similar appearances and are both cool-season weeds. Wild onion stems are solid; wild garlic has hollow stems. Both plants spread by seeds and bulbs. You can hand-pull wild onion and garlic, but getting all the underground bulbs is tricky.
28 Wild garlic and wild onion thrive in heavy soil, and tolerate wet soil. They are also hardy to both cold and drought.
29 Ground ivy, also known as creeping Charlie, prefers shady, moist areas of a lawn with low fertility, but also grows in sunny areas. Stems spread over the ground like ivy, rooting at leaf nodes.
30 When pulling weeds, grasp the weed by the top of the taproot rather than by the stem or foliage. Then slowly pull straight up with a slight twisting motion. This will break the feeder roots free from the taproot and allow the taproot to be pulled up whole.
31 Getting the entire plant, including as much of the root system as possible, is critical. Many weeds will resprout from dormant buds in any large pieces that remain in the soil.
32 Some weed roots are bigger and stronger than others, which is why it is better to pull them after a rain. If the soil is moist, loose and has a good crumb structure, even large weeds can be pulled whole. If the soil is not in good condition or is not wet enough or the weed is really large, a long trowel or narrow spading fork may be needed to get the whole root.
33 Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of light. Using organic mulches, like the "black gold" I have here at the farm, helps to deter some weeds from growing.
34 Here is a newly weeded garden bed behind my Summer House.
35 And here is my tree peony bed - everything is weed free and edged.
36 And my growing clematis pergola - no weeds, just beautiful plants waiting to bloom.