Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

One of the biggest pests gardeners have recently been battling has got to be all the weeds. Weeds in our gardens, weeds in our lawns, weeds in our flower beds even weeds in container grown plants. Why are we having such an outbreak of these unwanted plants in our landscapes?

Well, let’s see. We went without sun for many weeks and many of those days were also very cool, humid and damp. Many people had a lot of rain while some just had drizzle. All of these conditions were great for weeds, but not so much for other plants. Weeds had the upper hand in this situation.

People often ask why weeds seem to grow so much faster than desirable plants and seeds do.

Unbeknownst to many gardeners, there are many types of weed seeds already in our soils. Lots of them have probably been there for many years, just settling in and ready to sprout. They’re just waiting for the right amount of moisture and the right temperatures. When conditions are right, weed seeds shoot out of the ground before our plants do. Weeds compete with plants for resources like water, nutrients, space and sun.

Many types of weeds grow from underground roots that could have been alive in the soil for a long time – waiting for the right conditions to sprout. These weeds are called perennials. These weeds are especially fast-growing and are a lot harder to kill than many annual-type weeds. Perennial weeds have lots of energy stored from previous years of growth.

Have you ever noticed just how many seeds are produced by some of your weeds? Dandelions are perennials that most gardeners consider to be weeds. When a dandelion flower dries up, it releases hundreds of seeds into the wind. Odds are good that many of these seeds will eventually land somewhere in your landscape and continue to produce more weeds.

Weeds really can be bullies of the gardens.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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