Weeds: Lose ’em or Leave ’em (Or Spray the Bejabers out of ’em)

Letting Go #15

Believe me, I would love to let go of some of the undergrowth around my house. This has been a busy summer what with fitting in vacations and preparing to send a child off to college. While my back was turned, the dense carpet of plant hooligans has appeared magically, it seems, aided by an unusually cool and wet midwestern summer.

Although I am determined to cut back on gardening chores, the banes of my horticultural pursuits mock me daily. They are the strawberry patch and the dreaded brick walk “that goes to nowhere.” I finally girded my loins and plunged into the strawberries this week, with the reward coming in the form of mulching the dickens out of them. Ordinarily, I love to mulch, but shoving shredded bark under and around tenacious runners isn’t any fun.

And the brick walk! We inherited this highway of hell from the previous owners who must have thought this would be an attractive feature–EXCEPT THAT IT DOESN’T SERVE ANY PURPOSE. Of course, as an organically inclined gardener, I have patiently plucked the dandelions, crabgrass, and other weird life forms (of another planet), not to mention the ever-encroaching lawn, from the sandy cracks between the bricks. And then there was the boiling water, the vinegar, the salt–yes! yes! and yes!

My conclusion? There is way too much walk–and way too much time and expense in gentler methods. Since this rosy brick path continues to kick my butt, I’ve called in the heavy artillery: I went out and bought me a gallon or so of a commercial weedkiller in a spray pump.

This may be the coward’s way, but I’ve heard from experts of the organic persuasion that if you must use an herbicide, this is the one with less environmental impact. I still feel guilty, but part of my quest this year in simplifying and letting go of outdated and useless activities is to get real about weeds and my precious time.

It’s either chemicals or move.