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one year’s seeds seven year’s weeds

Another way to beat weeds is to smother them with kindness. Spread compost and mulch to feed the soil and smother the weeds at the same time. And only pull weeds when the soil is moist. You’ll get more of the roots that way.

As for Richard the II, he was eventually unseated from the throne during the weeding and pruning of England’s royal family in the late 1300s.

So it goes with your health, prevention is the best cure. Keeping weeds from getting started is easier than getting rid of them. I know, you don’t want to hear this, but one way to keep weeds from taking over your garden is to weed periodically. It’s much more effective than a frantic, back-breaking session once a year. So get the weeds out before they go to seed. Post this saying on your refrigerator:

Before you plant

n his play Richard II, Shakespeare uses a garden metaphor to explain the political problems of the day: England is wasting away as a result of the royal family’s greediness. In one scene, the gardener instructs his helpers about weeding and pruning. The garden is England and the plant that needs weeding and pruning is the royal family.

Weeds may be annuals, biennials or perennials. Annual weeds are the easiest to control. They complete their life cycles in a year or less. Summer annuals, like lamb’s quarters, sprout in the spring and go to seed in the fall. Winter annuals like chickweed sprout in the fall, over-winter and then go to seed by late spring or summer.

Thinking like a weed

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On the danger of allowing weeds to grow and seed themselves: also used figuratively. □ 1866 Rural American 1 Dec. .

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This prudence doesn’t only apply to weeds – remembering that “a weed” can simply be any plant growing in the wrong place.

Think about it; if every year, every single seed produced a fertile plant that lived for many years (each year, producing many seeds, every one of which produced a fertile plant, and so on), the species would overpopulate.

By the same token, if you’ve been weeding: don’t add ripe weed seeds to your compost pile, unless your pile gets hot enough to kill them.

Others have to be helped along by techniques such as pre-soaking or by nicking the seed coat. The seed packet will recommend your best strategy for this. Don’t skip that step.

Back to the Norway maple. It produces a truckload of viable seeds, meaning seeds that will sprout. (As an aside, the lovely native sugar maple, A. saccharum, is very stingy with its own – which has helped the Norways run rampant through our naturalized ravines.)