By Cynda Williams, Special to the Neighb News
March came in like a lion this year…again. Something was falling out of the sky during the first week, I was not certain exactly what…snow, sleet, freezing rain maybe? Or can it be weed seeds? As I watch the sky for patches of blue, my hands are anxious for work. My fingernails ache to be covered in dirt. My nose is itching for the fragrance of hyacinths, daffodils and eventually, lavender.
But the garden slept under the blanket of white, waiting. I worked in the garden one afternoon in early March. Tearing down tall weed canes and flame weeding helped my impatience somewhat. As I worked, I saw all that needs to be done. Four hands are not enough to do what needs doing!
Last July brought some help from the State of Massachusetts Correctional System. We were blessed with some willing women who worked in the heat for four days, pulling Mugwort as tall as they were. Cart after cart of weeds were hauled out of the gardens and dumped into the compost pile. We thank these willing hands who struggled to pull the tall weeds.
The results were appealing, but I knew the Truth. The roots remain. To remove these weeds, you have to get to the root of the problem. This can be done by several methods. One method is digging out and sifting the dirt, removing the weed roots. This is so labor intensive, it is brain numbing. Another is to cut down all growth and cover the area with black plastic to starve the roots. This spring and summer, we will be trying the latter. This will be no small job for two people. We need more hands. Please.
Last fall and early winter we worked on some projects that needed to be done. Sorting and organizing the garden shed, digging out invasive roots and mulching, replanting some perennials to a new space, hopefully now weed-free. One quarter of the garden area is relatively free of the horrid Mugwort, the invasive weed related to Artemisia. This is the tall weed growing in unkempt areas and along roadsides. It has invaded the garden with a vengeance. In the other garden areas, Mugwort grows with abandon, any intentionally planted perennials are engulfed by these invasive plants.
Our thanks go out to the women who helped pull tall weeds, Pam, who helped deadhead and weed and Sam Garcia, who has shared his helping hands and strong back.
April has arrived. Many of you will be outside as soon as the snow melts, raking up winter’s litter sprawled over your yards and garden beds. While you are out raking, please think of the small place we have created for the wild pollinators. We need volunteers to help us in our efforts to work the garden, pull and dig weeds, mulch the plants & relocate some trees. All hands are welcome!
If you have some time for the garden, please call Merilee Kelly in the Acushnet Conservation Office at: 508-998-0202. Be sure to leave your name and a return phone number. Thank you.
We can only take care of our small corner of the world. Do it well.
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Click here to download the entire 4/1/19 issue: 04-11-19 ARSBC Dock