How one gardener deals with weeds in the lawn
When your lawn is invaded by nutsedge, oxalis, and other weeds, what do you do? One gardener picks her battles.
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Here's what has happened with the weeds that pop up most often in my lawn:Skip to next paragraph
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I love clover in lawns, Clover even has a pretty flower that the bees love. But when there's lots of clover, the kids can’t go barefoot in the lawn or they risk getting stung by a bee. The truth is, given that Helen's Haven is a wildlife habitat, we are routinely stung, particularly when we rub against a salvia nodding across the path. When that happens, I’m willing to risk the stings, but not so much with regards to frolicking barefoot on the cool grass of summer, so I cut the clover flowers, especially in the main running areas. Helen -- win.
I have a so-so relationship with Oxalis [see first photo at top]. While I loathe having it in my garden beds and I do have quite a bit of it, I find it so-so in my lawn. At first I hated it, but I have decided to live with Oxalis. There, I said it. It can stay in my lawn. Oxalis -- win.
I didn't have to spend much time around nutsedge to decide it was my personal scourge. It’s horrid. It spouts up, branches out, and takes over an entire lawn, if you let it. [See second photo above; click on arrow at right base of first photo.] I’ve tried everything. Many gardeners will tell you that pulling it will only cause three more to grow in its place (or is that gray hairs?) But pull it I do.
Since I decided that there was no way this weed would live in my lawn, I’ve taking a very calm approach to it. Removing nutsedge is very therapeutic for me now. Bring it on baby; make my day. I lie in wait for a nice summer shower, then in the early morning or the cool of the evening, I grab a bucket, pronged weeder, and plop myself down in the lawn. I start at one end and traverse the lawn until all the nutsedge is removed. Now, I wouldn’t grow nutsedge just to get that feeling of satisfaction, but now that I have a plan, I make it relaxing. It no longer bothers me. Helen -- win.
Bermuda is one of those unreasonable grasses. If it were at all well behaved, it would actually be the best grass, IMHO. But to a gardener protecting her beds, Bermuda is an invader. It’s not enough that it can have all the lawn area, it wants the beds, too. Controlling Bermuda is just too hard to do, though; I’ve tried. The fight is over; it’s just not worth it. Bermuda -- win.
Finding a happy medium in my lawn wasn’t a goal; it was a challenge. I rose to the challenge and can honestly say that I much happier with what I see and how I handled it. In the fight with lawn weeds, some you win, some you lose. It’s all a matter of picking your battles.
Helen Yoest lives in North Carolina and writes about Gardening With Confidence. She's a garden writer, speaker, and garden coach. She's also a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens and Country Gardens magazines and serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum. You can follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook. To read more by Helen here at Diggin' It, click here.
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