Tuesday, September 14, 2010


On Sunday I finally got around to pulling out some of the weeds that were colonising the front lawn and rose garden. I got two buckets worth out of the lawn alone. Thanks to all the rain, the ground was very soft and they came out beautifully. Rather worrying was the number of soursobs I pulled out. This little South African number (Oxalis pes-caprae), introduced into Australia as a garden plant, is a serious space/light competitor and even though I'm told they aren't taken very seriously, as they aren't around the entire year, they are the bane of my gardening life. And this is why: This little bugger had a root over 60cm long! It was out of the rose garden and the roots were under the mulch, not the soil, which is why it came out intact.

All along the roots grow little bulbils and it is those thingums that are the real problem. Soursobs spread by bulbs, and lots of them, in fact a lot of the time they don't set seed at all. The bulbs are quite obvious in the photo below. It's a long, long process to get rid of them. As I prefer not to spray poisons in my garden, I'll be pulling these suckers out for years to come. I'm hoping the key will be to never let them get out of hand in the first place. So, one bucket of weeds for the compost, and all the soursobs to go into the green waste bin, along with their bulbs!

I finally got out the back as well and stated to clear swathes of weeds. Quite embarrasing, some of them had become quite enormous. Wish I'd taken a photo of some of them with something for scale, but all I have is a photo of three piles of weeds which don't look nearly as impressive her as in real life. I think I'm going to leave them just where they are so they can moulder and break down into compost and get dug into the soil later.

Weeding is quite therapeutic sometimes. There is something very satisfying about pulling out all those plants you'd rather not be there, especially when you have a personal vendetta against some of them. I have to say, however, that all the thistles and grasses made be wish we had a rabbit to eat them. I have fond memories of collecting thistles for our rabbits and guinea pigs when I was a child, of letting some of them get big just so the critters could have a treat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll join you in the oxalis despising; I inherited some plants from a friend of mum's (in winter) unknowingly inheriting a LOT of oxalis along with them, thre the plants in the ground and well, you know the rest. I'm thinking of painting them with roundup. Much as I'd prefer to dig them out they are SO interspersed with the plants now that I don't think I'd be able to get them all out without damaging anything else. :(

Apparently some nursery's are now selling oxalis as a type of cheap groundcover! :o