Seeing green, so easy

This is the time of year -- late winter -- where even though there's a lot of brown in the yard, there are touches of green mixed in, and they're a welcome sight. Sort of. I'm not talking about budding trees and shrubs, spring-flowering bulbs, or any other desirable early-wakers of my garden. No, I'm talking about weeds.

This is a great time to walk around the yard and see what sort of weed problems there are. If your garden is anything like mine you're going to have a really hard time finding any weeds at any time of year (cough, cough) but it's worth a look right?


Wild strawberries (above) are a big problem in my yard, but they're so easy to find now. When it warms up a little I'll spend some time mechanically eradicating (pulling or hoeing) as many of them as I can find.

If you have warm-season turf grasses in your lawn that are dormant (brown) it's super-easy to find the problem spots too:

Not strictly green, but still easy to spot.

Not only weeds, but some undesirable grasses, like this cool-season grass (bluegrass? fescue?) mixed in with my buffalo grass:

There are so many things wrong in this photo besides the unwanted grass.

Since the warm-season grasses won't wake up for a few months, there's plenty of time to find and remove any troublemakers.

It's a good time to see where you might have some patches of weedy grass -- or is that grassy weeds? -- in the lawn too:

I was lucky to find a spot in my yard that I could use as an example of this, as my lawn is really pretty immaculate (cough, cough).

It's also a great time to see how the various volunteer patches of bugleweed (Ajuga reptens) are spreading:

I love bugleweed, and am thinking about replacing a large patch of lawn with it. It's already got a good start, so why not?

The early-season weeds like this henbit are really easy to notice, as my eyes are drawn to any patches of green that I notice. These need to be taken care of right away:

No point in letting these guys produce seed, when they're so easy to find and pull right now. Plus I haven't done much weeding for the last few months, so I'm itching to get started!

It's also a great time to see how some desirable plants might be a bit too crowded:

These rudbeckia self-seeded last year, and now there are dozens of plants crammed in here. Way too many for the plants to flourish. I didn't know they were in there because the parent plants were quite large and were hiding them from view. I'll transplant them before they start waking up too much.

So if you garden in a climate that's exhibiting a lot of browns right now, spend a few minutes surveying your domain for unwanted "greens". It's a lot easier than waiting until everything is green.

And if you're having a hard time finding any weeds or unwanted plants in your garden, just get in touch with me. I'd be glad to send more weed-choked photos your way.

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (February 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM)  

I tell you, desert gardeners have it much easier. Far fewer weeds out here!!!

In our yard, weeds are popping up everywhere, especially oxalis, the bane of my existence. Your post was a good reminder to really get cracking.

JiffyJ  – (February 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM)  

I am a desert gardener. It is much easier to see the weeds, and if you get rid of them while they are small, it's nice and easy.
However, the recent winds have deposited somewhere around 50 tumbleweeds (yes, 50) that are at least as tall as me right over the fence into my lawn. I am tempted to burn them where they sit, to avoid the billions of seeds ready to drop the second I touch one.

I do have a question regarding the "weeds" you battle, Alan. Mainly violets and strawberries, right? Do they bloom, produce berries, or just resemble strawberry or violet plants?

Alan  – (February 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM)  

JiffyJ: the violets do bloom, and the strawberries produce tiny fruit that doesn't really have any flavor.

I think burning the tumbleweeds would drop just as many seeds, wouldn't it?

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