Sunday, May 06, 2012

When I Weed You...

Everyone has one stories about 'that' yard in their neighborhood.  The one that the homeowners association has to send letters to.

We are that yard.  Fortunately, we don't live in an area with a homeowners association.  As a matter of fact, when we were looking to buy a house years ago, that was my non-negotiable item; no homeowners association.

However, that doesn't stop me from feeling a wee bit guilty when the weeds start encroaching across the border.  We have a large yard, but big open bedding areas and very little intentional plant material.  We've planted bushes, taken out trees and shrubs, and moved things around, but have yet to figure out a low-maintenance landscape plan that fits our lifestyle.

Consequently, the weeds have a lot of elbow room.  So, on a sunny day like today, we had to make some progress before the weed seeds reach a point of no return.  The problem is that all three of us pretty much hate yard work.  Oh, we like gardening just fine - the planting and watering of plants you choose to sustain, however the weeds have to be pulled first - damn it.

Year after year we try, usually for a couple of days and then say "screw it" and let the weeds have their way with us.  We go after it hard at the beginning of the season only to be slapped down by the necessary regularity of pulling, digging and hacking.

This year we hope it will be different.  We've decided to just spend a few minutes several times a week pulling and digging.  The hope is that if we know we only have to do a few minutes, we'll be more likely to get out there and get it in gear.  This sounds much more appealing that planning a whole weekend to clean up the yard, which we find all kinds of ways to avoid.  Like  painting a room.

Of course, spraying weeds is a much faster alternative than pulling and digging, but we try to stay away from the chemicals whenever possible. After filling up two yard debris bins today (okay, the short and sweet approach didn't take hold just yet, but tomorrow is another day), I decided to put the tea kettle on to boil - about eight times.

This year we are going to try some natural alternatives to herbicides, so I poured hot boiling water on the weeds in the cracks on the driveway, between paving stones, and near the front porch.  I have read that boiling water is an effective way to get rid of weeds, so we turned up the heat on the little persistent buggers.

It looks like it's working, but I need more weapons in my arsenal, because after a day or two full of pulling, whacking and digging with a pick axe, my arse is sore. As are my legs, arms, back and hands.

The Healthy Child Healthy World blog has a list of other ways to kill and control weeds safely and naturally.  I can hardly wait to try pickling, washing and mixing a little cocktail for the weeds that will try, yet again, to bring me to my knees.

Maybe I should buy some knee pads just in case?

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