Friday, July 31, 2009

Battling the Weeds.

I’ve said it before… this has been a fabulous year for weeds. Any small piece of bare ground here has sprouted an unbelieveable assortment of weeds. Tall weeds, creeping weeds, spreading weeds … we have them all. It’s been difficult to keep up with them. From what I saw yesterday afternoon, I'm definitely losing the battle.

The rose field looks horrible. Many of the smaller roses have weeds around them that are taller than the rose itself. Bermuda grass has overtaken the ramblers on the fence, crawling right over the mulch and settling in like a blanket.

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to try to take control of the problem. First, I sprayed the rambler bed with Ornamec … it’s a selective herbicide that only kills grass, so it’s perfect for use in the rose beds. It takes a week or so to work, but it kills the grass without having to do any digging. After the grass dies, I’ll deal with the broadleaf weeds.

The ones in the rose field are mostly broadleaf weeds, which I have to pull by hand. Many of them were under and around the roses, so it would be WAY too dangerous to try to kill them with Round-up. Two hours of work, and I had 5 half-rows clean. It’s not very much, considering the size of the field, but it’s a start.

Conditions necessary for healthy weeds must be related to having healthy roses, because the rose are growing really well too. The teas and chinas and polyanthas are blooming like crazy. The modern hybrid teas are beginning another cycle of bloom, and the climbers on the arches are beginning to grow new canes that are long enough to climb.

If you come this weekend, please ignore the weeds. Enjoy the flowers … they smell heavenly. Hopefully, with lots of pulling and careful spraying, the weeds will be gone soon.


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