Thursday, September 01, 2011

Fixing Invasion of the Groundcover

I just love strawberry plants. The runners and the new little plants they make seem like such great bonuses! I would love to have a huge patch of them! Mine all lived through the winter this past year, thanks to the snow that insulated them. I'm pinning down a few runners from each plant to make new ones, though I will probably end up moving the new plants to new locations this fall or next spring.
Strawberry plant - day neutral type:

This next photo shows one of the year's most frustrating garden problems. We have a nice bank covered in a creeping sedum. It was invaded with a grass, which spread rapidly underground, moving rapidly over broad areas. Pulling it out by hand became futile and we finally resorted to glyphosate (Roundup), which RLM applied with a hockey stick to the tips of the grasses. This resulted in death to the grass and spared the sedum. I think I will now transplant little islands of sedum back into the dead grass patches, without pulling the dead grass out (which would leave loose soil ready to grow more weeds). Hopefully this will fill in next year.
Bank of sedum:

If Roundup ever becomes unavailable, I think I would need one of those garden-blowtorches, which would seem to be the other option for non-selective killing of a patch of noxious plants. It seems a bit ridiculous, but sometimes a spreading weed can make you lose your patience!
Double-flowered pink morning glory - very showy:

I am trying out a new direct-seeded annual each year, learning about their growth habits and successes in our climate. This next pink flower is a mauve-colored California poppy (which is technically not a poppy), which I direct seeded in some drier soil in a very sunny location. It is doing well. Next year, cosmos and zinnias!
California poppy:

Otherwise in the garden, I broke our only lawn sprinkler. I am contemplating a trip to the city, but the only highway south apparently has a bridge out-of-order due to a crack in a girder. This is a bit of a problem...we shall see.


Clayton said...

Nice to see flowers even as the summer wanes. Grasses are a real problem no matter what you are doing! And pulling only takes the tops off.
You can get to Saskatoon using the Shellbrook highway and coming down through Blaine Lake.

Saw you photos in Rural Roots which I just subscribed to. Very nice.

Barbarapc said...

We're in a roundup free zone here in Ontario. I have friends who make the trip to the US to get theirs. Thought the hockey stick applicator was a great idea. Dark plastic pinned down an over the offending weeds for a growing season seems to do the trick - although it look pretty ugly. Realy like your double mgs. My direct seed was Zinnia Peppermint Stick which has yet to bloom! May it be a very late frost.

Orkneyflowers said...

Great blog, I'm glad I found you, will subscribe

I'm at 59-60N but at the far north of Scotland.

Enjoyed what iv read so far, will work backwards, this may take me a while :)

Barry Richardson said...

Thanks for the post. I am always interested in learning more about northern gardening. I live in the south where many of our lawns are amazoy zoysia. This grass tends to crowd out weeds and other ground cover more than your grasses seem to. Keep up the great work!