AN OLD-FASHION WEED PULL

This past weekend, I found myself in the rare position of not having to work. Any other freelancers out there, particularly those with kids and no nanny budget, know what I’m talking about. Usually, weekends do not exist. Neither do evenings or early mornings, but I digress. And so on Friday as I saw three projects come to a close, I had the realization of whoa, hold on, I don’t think I have to work this weekend. Hooray! Weekend!

Sadly, my husband was not in my same good fortune. He still had to work. There would be no big family outings or other such revelry. (Although we did go to dinner on Sunday night, alone, because it was our anniversary for pete’s sake. Thank you Siobahn!)

Saturday morning I woke up with a big smile on my face. What to do? What. To. DO?? I scooped up my sprite (Thora) and we had our usual morning of breakfast, making a pinwheel garden in between the couch cushions and Caillou. Then we took it outside.

I am very fortunate in that my child likes to tool around the backyard as much as I do. She has a gardener’s heart. With her little bucket and shovel and sunhat, she can sit in the gravel for ages, coming up only to request bubbles or for you to fill her watering can. So while she filled and emptied her bucket on repeat, I did some weeding. And trimming. And watering. And planting. Thora helped me sow seeds for carrots, beets, romaine and spinach. All of which I expect to suffer tragic ends because it is much too late in the season for these cool veggies. But I really don’t care. It’s more about the experience and getting our hands dirty. We planted peppers, beans, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes a while ago and they are, dare I say, flourishing. Regardless of how my seeds do, there will be some green back there.

Then we had pbjs and blueberries and I sent her off to nap. And this is where things get heroic.

A few weeks ago I tackled the front yard with the weed whacker. You may recall my embarrassment while bragging about our tree? I also got half way through the side yard before I thought my hand was going to vibrate right off, so I quit. The back half of that side yard sat in the back half of my brain, nag nag nag. Out of the corner of my eye, I would catch the weeds creeping up to our bedroom window, taunting me, reminding me of my weed whacking failures. Heavy sigh.

Then today I remembered this post at Picardy Project. That girl is 9 months pregnant and know what she did, she PULLED the weeds? Why had I never thought to pull the weeds? We have always weed whacked the front and side yards, foolishly thinking it was faster and better. But now that I thought about it—it’s messy, the chords are a pain to deal with and you don’t get the roots. Duh!

I grabbed my bucket, gloves and Hunter boots and with great determination, I was off to slay my dragon.

You can see how far I got last time. And of course the weeds that have popped right back up. But does this visually represent the gravity of those virgin weeds? Let’s try again.

There we go. That’s knee-high, baby, and about 15 feet. And I’m just getting over a sinus infection. Sinuses aside, I jumped right in. And wouldn’t you know it, totally easy. Those weeds are tall but their roots are puny. And truthfully, pulling those weeds was like meditation for me. It was gratifying and I like taking care of the things I care about, even when it sucks. Besides, I was done in 40 minutes.

Still ugly as butt and primed to grow right back. But for now, and pending any unlikely rain, this eases my mind. I no longer have to lie in bed seeing the shadow of those weeds outside the blinds. I do not have to imagine the rodents and spiders and snails and ants setting up shop three feet below my child’s window. Heavy sigh of relief.

Now if I had a few hundred bucks to spend over here, I know exactly what I’d do. First, I’d hire someone to come over and level out this dirt. It is very compact clay and higher than the house. That’s bad. I would level it out then put down weed screen then fill it with gravel. I also want to plant a bamboo outside our bathroom window since it is in direct view of the neighbor’s bathroom. I know what color his toothbrush is. Ew.

Then I’d take down that fence in the back and put up a new one at the front of the house. I hate that someone could easily walk back here. Let’s put a stop to that. Not sure what to do about all the nails sticking out of the side fence. Thanks neighbor!

And of course patch the stucco, replace the windows and paint the house. Haha! Now I’m all stressed out again.

Let’s hope for another work-free weekend soon. This time with all THREE of us. And honey, I promise I won’t make you weed the side yard. Happy Anniversary!



1 thought on “AN OLD-FASHION WEED PULL”

  • As someone with a bit of experience gardening, weeding, and weeding where weed screen has been used, I would would suggest leaving it out. Weeds can still grow, and if you don't keep on top of it, the roots get entangled in the weed screen and are really hard to pull out.

    I would get the space as weed free as possible, do the grading and leveling and then just put down the gravel.

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