Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weed Eaters

As I sit typing, I realize that today, just 20 minutes ago to be exact is the first day of summer. As the days once again the course of shrinking into oblivion, One may question how to proceed with the yard. We see our neighbors’ yards bright and green, appearing as if a little slice of Augusta National was placed in your area simply to make your yard look bad. You look out the front window of your house and see weeds smiling back at you. Where is the justice in this story? Why have you been stricken? What did you do to deserve this curse?
Weeds in the lawn are one thing; We can generally take care of them by simply adding some commercial granules to the turf. One friend of mine has even reported, “I just cut the grass real low, then nobody can tell weed from Bermuda.” This may be true for a day, maybe even two, but slowly the pesky purple headed catmints begin to spring up on his lawn like lost relatives on an episode of Jerry Springer. Another friend insists on burning weedy spots in the yard. I always drive by his house and wonder if he had a clover problem or if a UFO landed and scorched the grass. It is like his special form of crop circles. The point is everyone has an approach to weeding. If it works for you, great! I even toyed around with a new method of clover control this summer.
Weeds in the lawn are not the ones we need to worry about, it is the stealth weed. Are you familiar with it? I bet it is closer than you think. Imagine a beautiful lane. White picket fences, immaculately manicured lawns and 2.36 children play in each yard. You have the picture. You leave the house at 7 to drop the kids off at day camp, run some errands, even lunch with friends. You pause to admire your freshly power-washed concrete. As you return home, you feel a rift in the force…the lane is not at piece, 4 kids play in each yard, pink flamingos have perched in the neighbors trees, and suddenly you see it, you yard is the culprit. At five o’clock, you discover the terrible truth. At first you wonder, “Did the kids spill green paint on the driveway? “ No, they didn’t. Somehow in the last ten hours, four dandelions, 7 stalks of catmint, and an inestimable of crabgrass has clogged those small cracks and creases in the drive? “NOOOOOO!” you scream, but it is ultimately too late, the stealth weeds have come at you with a vengeance.
There are two easy methods to deal with this problem, I warn you they are not for the faint at heart as death and agony will occur; to the weeds not you. Both solutions involve NaCl, regular good old sodium chloride, Salt! Method One- this is the easier of the two; sprinkle salt in the cracks. This is best used before the first green blades appear. However, if the blades have appeared, you may need something stronger. I don’t know about you, but I personally like to punish my weeds, make them uncomfortable, make them pay for their crimes. So, if you are feeling like a home and garden vigilantly, this is the method for you. First bring a nice pot of water to a boil. Add salt to this rolling pot of angry steam, not a pinch or a dash, add salt; make it your own personally boiling ocean. Next take care not to burn yourself (oven mitts, close toed shoes, and long pants). Walk the boiling pot to the offending area. Release the salt--- blast it upon anything green showing in the cracks. The plants will immediately die and the salt prevents their return.
Harsh? Yes. Effective? Beyond belief. Weed free drive, walk, and patio – priceless.

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