May 17th, 2010
It is time to make an assault on weeds, for these will accelerate in growth at this time of the year with the rain! My most invasive weed at the moment is oxalis! I have known people to go mad at this time of year over this little plant!! It is enough to drive you to the weed killer – but we won’t go there! We want our garden to be free of all that! No, it is best to remain calm and try to look positively at all that extra time spent in our garden bed pulling it out. A dear friend of mine told me that if I could get all the oxalis out (including all the little bulbs) before it flowered I could be rid of it forever. I have never succeded, but I live in hope.
Another ongoing little chore is raking up all those lovely autumn leaves for the compost bins! It is fun to do this – it keeps you warm and gives you exercise! If you have too many leaves to fit into your compost bins you can spread them at the back of the flowerbeds or under shrubs, whatever you do with those autumn leaves – don’t waste them by burning them!
The dahlias are all looking a bit sad now but it is important to let the foliage die back naturally to allow the tubers to take in food for the following year. Around the end of the month they are usually ready for me to cut the stems of the plants to within 15 centimetres of the ground and leave the plants in the ground for a few more weeks to allow the tubers to mature. At this point some people lift and store them for next year. I have never had much success with lifting dahlias; inevitably they become too dry and shrivel or they fall prey to slaters, or I forget about where I put them and they die a sad death in the dark corners of the shed, alone and forgotten. I find that my dahlias will usually suffer less by being left undisturbed – something I do very well – until it is time to divide and replant them around November.
While raking up the leaves I saw my little clump of violets – they will be flowering soon, so it is time to give them a little bit of TLC with some fertiliser and maybe tidy up the old leaves by giving them a little bit of a trim back. Dear little things that they are!
Well, I am off out into that garden bed to pull out some more oxalis! Happy gardening!