invasive species

There was a lot more interest than I would have expected in my brief mention of my problem figuring out what to do with five bags of garlic mustard. The update is that I put off dealing with the problem while I finished grading, and then the bags started to leak. Most of it turned into a disgusting slime. I spread the mess out on the patio to dry. Of course it started raining an hour later. At least the rain washed off a lot of the slime. In the past two days, I picked out more second year garlic mustard that had been hiding among the violets, and realized there is a carpet of first year plants to dig out. I think I’ll be spending much of my sabbatical doing this.

You may think that weeding means I’m gardener. Nope. I have a brown thumb. The only gardening activities I am good at are destructive: mowing, weeding, and digging up bushes that are blocking the walk. Everything I’ve planted or paid someone else to plant has turned out to be a mistake: it either died or proved to be the wrong plant in the wrong place. We have the scrappiest yard on the block. My spouse thinks that if you mow your lawn you have done all that anyone can expect of you in the way of gardening, except for extreme cases that call for nuclear herbicide. We both would prefer a natural yard that looks like an unkempt woodland edge and needs no maintenance, but it turns out that neglecting your yard does not produce a natural woodland. Yard neglect creates a safe haven for invasive species. Continue reading “invasive species”

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