This past weekend, I dug up some of the plant thugs from my garden. It was an odd group, including cucumber plants, daylilies and giant ragweed. They have little in common except that I was sick of them. Each plant earned its spot in the compost pile and garbage for different reasons.
Because it is a weed
The ragweed came out of the meadow behind our house. It is indeed giant ragweed – growing 7 or 8 feet tall and sending pollen all over the place. This is a major plant thug. It took over one corner of the meadow a couple of years ago, and showed signs of moving outward from there. I’m planning to plant some grasses and other forbs in that spot in order to hold off the ragweed next year.
Because it acts like a weed
I planted my cucumbers as seed rather late this year due to the cold spring. Not expecting them to grow that well, I let about six cucumber plants survive. Big mistake! With the rain and heat this summer, the cucumbers went crazy, covering their designated trellis and bed and crawling into beds with green beans, tomatoes, even twining their foliage around raspberry plants. It had to stop. We could not eat all the cucumbers the plants were producing and they were interfering with their plant neighbors. So Sunday I harvested the mature fruit for pickles and then cut the plants at the base. It took a bit of gentle tugging, but I got most of the foliage out of the bed. I still have time to seed spinach or lettuce in that bed, which will make for some tasty fall salads.
Because it was time
Finally, the daylilies. A lot of garden writers and bloggers like to hate on ‘Stella d’Oro’ daylilies because they are ubiquitous, planted in every mall parking lot in the U.S. I’m not among them. These prolific re-bloomers are the perfect plant for areas you do not want to have to think about much. (And, we’ve all got those spots.) Stella is not a garden thug in the sense that she spreads. Stellas have been hanging out on the north side of my house, blooming despite the shade and not asking for anything but an annual hair cut, for 12 years. I have some hostas that need to be moved due to a different project, so out went Stella and in went the hostas.
Fall is a good time for garden rejuvenation, and with these three spots now empty, it almost feels like the spring.