Wednesday, June 25

clover in the flowerbeds

So I've got a minor/major problem. It's minor because it's relatively so, in the scope of all of life and eternity. It's major because I can't get rid of it.

Clover, in my tiny front flowerbed. My flowerbed is choking.

I've been working with my pal Google to come up with an answer to the problem. Apparently, t's a strange type of clover, not the white kind that is supposedly so great for the soil, or the heart shaped leaf kind that has yellow flowers and long banana like seed pods that really isn't clover at all but something with a fancypants botanical name.

My clover is in that picture above. I've just pulled what seems to be a million pounds of it out of my flowerbed. That second photo is just a very small sample of what I've pulled out. It's vicious, and stubborn and greedy. Very greedy. It wants to choke out my on-purpose flowers.

It's in the lawn, too, but I honestly don't care about that. It's green, and that is what counts at our address.

I do care if it kills my flowers. So I want to get it out of my flowerbed. But after pulling and pulling last night, I realized it was going to get the better of me. I thought perhaps I'd go to some sort of garden store to find answers. But then I thought maybe one of my blogger friends would know.

So get your green thumbs on this, folks! How can I get rid of my clover issue without killing my flowers? I'm particularly concerned with the spring bulbs I've got planted there - tulips, grape hyacinth, etc. And I'm concerned about ruining the soil with too many chemicals. Not concerned enough that I wouldn't use chemicals, mind you. I really am growly at the clover.

8 comments:

Rosemary and Dale said...

It must be a good year for that plant... I have it everywhere, even in my gravel driveway. Seems to be a hardy little bugger!! I picked up something at my last visit to the gardening department that is helping - new gardening gloves! Like you, I pulled LOTS of it. It seems to grow long, trailing vines where you start pulling and get more...and more... and more... Sorry, I have no additional help, other than weeding. (I don't use chemical weed killers.) An organic mulching (cedar bark etc.) around your flower plants MIGHT help and tulips wouldn't mind. I figure people pay good money at a gym for a working like you (and I) had!! :)

Anonymous said...

My folks actually run a greenhouse and grow "nice" plants on purpose, but aren't in on the weed end of the spectrum. If you would like to avoid the careful application of RoundUp, here's a something which might work on some of it--covering/sealing to the ground with bricks or rocks with something like a black garbage bag (free!). This would deprive it of oxygen most importantly, cut back on it's moisture and sunlight. Just think of moving objects of the ground and seeing the yellow spots in the yard. Jenny, if you try this and it makes it worse, I'll help weed! I don't think occassional doses of RoundUp are that terrible if you can obliterate the rotten weed and not have to do it again. We've had an unbelievably tenacious rhizome-type weed in our strawberries for two years. It has a horizontal network of roots thicker than a broom handle that keeps sending up shoots no matter how much we take out on top. We don't don't want to spray the strawberries we need to eat; our hope is to wear it down. Good luck, Jenny. We understand.
Cindy B.

Life in Lewisburg said...

My problem is poison oak, I've dug it up put it in a plastic bag and took it to the dump.
If you soak the ground well and use a garden tool to get the entire root. don't leave any bits of the leave or stem you might catch up with it. Don't put weeds in your compost pile and pull them before they flower or seed. There is round up it will kill everything or Caseron it only kills weeds before they immerge. My favorite way to weed is on my knees, with a pair of disposible rubber gloves and a hand screw driver type garden tool with a v shape at the end of it.
Shelley

Life in Lewisburg said...

An organic way to kill a plant is with boiling water in a tea pot and dump it on the entire plant.
Shelley

TwoMuths said...

ooh, you guys are the best! I'll be trying these methods ASAP! Thank you!!!

Tim & Richelle said...

Do you know any responsible teen/preteens that would come help weed for some time (as a ministry/opportunity for service) until you can get ahead of it? I've got 2 (who even enjoy helping me with the garden - probably because they are hoping to spot the chameleon), but you are a bit too far to send em over for a few afternoons a week...

I won't use the insecticides here (too many things come from Nigeria) - and I'm afraid to know what totally banned chemicals may be the major consituents.

We are hoping to try and grow some sweet corn over the next few months, which will be a new experience for us, as we've never done real gardening to actually eat the stuff we grow.

Rosemary and Dale said...

There you go... Rachel has a GREAT idea. Where are all these Jr. High kids in your group when you need them???? Wouldn't any (or at least SOME of them) be willing to help out their pregnant Youth Leader with weeding? If there are TOO MANY who want to help, hand a couple some window cleaner!! :) (This is a joke... I have a 12 year old grandson, so I sort of have an idea that some kids that age have other priorities. But it wouldn't hurt to mention to the kids.)

Sara said...

Jenny-
You might try this web site http://www.beginner-gardening.com/
I find it very helpful and if you can't find an answer then you can ask the guy questions and he'll be able to help you.
Sara R.