Have you got all your leaves picked up and all your outdoor bulbs planted? That's great, but don't rest on your ... uh, laurels just yet. Not until you've tackled those weeds in the back corner of the garden or under the shrubbery. Here in Chicagoland, we've had an extended fall, with a few freezes, but many days of warm weather and periods of rain, the perfect conditions for weeds to make that last surge of growth before winter.As the photo shows, the garlic mustard was on the other side of the fence, but within reach of my CobraHead Weeder. First, I whacked off the top and pulled it through the fence. Then I dug up as much of the roots as I could. It's possible that no pollinators have visited these flowers, but it's better to avoid the risk of more seeds. Even though some of the roots might remain, the weed has been weakened, and will be that much less vigorous come spring.
I was feeling smug, I am nearly done with planting the bulbs, and the leaves have been managed, but for some reason, I wandered down the short path to the fence that abuts the common area of the home owners' association next door. And what to my horror should I find? Not just flourishing weeds, but garlic mustard. But not just garlic mustard, oh no, this garlic mustard was in a healthy rebloom. Garlic mustard is an invasive exotic weed that crowds out woodland wildflowers and degrades habitats.
|On the bright side, I could have used this image for tomorrow's Bloom Day post.|
While I was at it, I removed arm fulls of creeping charlie and wild strawberries that had invaded from the other side of fence. The garden is now in good shape for winter, and my battle with the weeds will resume a little later next spring.