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Starting from Scratch

November 17th, 2015

When a garden bed is overtake with invasive weeds, sometimes you just have to start from scratch. Quackgrass or couch grass, as it’s also called, is a BIG problem here in my garden (here’s a great article about it if you’re interested in learning more). It’s EVERYWHERE and it’s quite a thug when it comes to the gardens. I’ve been working hard over the past 3 years to eradicate it from the edible beds. The pigs were most useful in dealing with it in the large food garden, in other areas I’ve been digging it out by hand.
digging out front flowerbed 2
It’s a problem in the edible and perennial beds because it reduced yields in edible gardens by up to 95% and in ornamental beds it will slowly choke everything else out. The front flowerbed was filled with it when we arrived three years ago, I haven’t done much to deal with it until this fall. Now I’m digging out everything in the bed, saving what I can, but most of the plants have been choked out or are infested with quack grass rhizomes. Luckily, the plants are easy to get if I want to replace any of them, which I don’t think I do.
digging out front flowerbed 5
digging out front flowerbed 4
I have big plans for this space, which is behind the boxwood hedge that I just moved. There’s the new hedge, a 2-3 foot rock wall, then this garden area. My plan is to put a row of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas in this space, I’ll probably need 5 of them for the front. On the corner of the house I plan on putting some kind of ornamental tree that I can prune to come out from the house.
digging out front flowerbed 3
digging out front flowerbed 1
It’s a lot of work to dig out entire garden areas, but it’s what needs to be done in cases where invasive weeds have taken over. This weed is also in the lawn in front of the box hedge, I’ll have to start dealing with that next spring so it doesn’t creep back into the beds. Most likely the lawn area will be smothered and reseeded with weed free seed. Sometimes starting from scratch is the easiest way to get to where we want to be.

Do you have any invasive weeds you’re dealing with in your garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.