Practicing organic gardening is rewarding in so many ways. One kind of onerous task that can be therapeutic is the act of hand-weeding. I know some folks go for the corn gluten (does it really work? I’ve heard mixed things) or the pyromaniac’s dream tool, the propane torch weed killer. The best thing for my parking strip would probably be more perennial plants and ground covers, in order to provide less space for the weeds, and I hope to get more in every year. But in the meantime, I just have to count on my trusty trowel and do the best I can. Here are some of the fun varieties I contend with on a regular basis: quack grass, herb-Robert, bindweed (especially evil and hard to eradicate), Japanese clover, sorrel, and a bunch of dandelion-like weeds, not to mention the evil St. Johns Wort I yanked out of the parking strip three years ago that keeps trying to come back, the various lawns the previous owner took out even longer ago that want very badly to return, and all the other pesky ones I don’t know the names of. Phew, that was a very long sentence.
I know California poppy is considered by some to be a weed, but it’s a nice place-holder in the parking strip until the later-spring plants fill in.
The New York Times magazine had this interesting (and frightening) article about how global warming makes weeds stronger. They will probably be the last things standing, along with the cockroaches.
The State of Washington has a web site devoted to its “noxious weed” list, with photos of nearly all the nasty varmints. Some look quite pretty, but are invasive and crowd out native and threatened plant varieties.
If you live in the Western US or Canada, this book is pretty amazing, even at $30. Maybe your local library can get it for you as an inter-library loan, if you don’t want to spend that much.
What are your weed nemeses? How do you control them, especially organically?