All Things Gardening forum→Feeling overwhelmed

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MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 9, 2019 3:13 PM CST
Do you ever have one of those days (or weeks, in my case) when gardening is more stress than joy?

I just can't keep up with weeding. This year is THE WORST! Bindweed is wrapping itself around plants all over the garden. Out of nowhere, I have an explosion of mugwort. Invasive vines are creeping in from my neighbor's overrun yard (grrr) and taking over some of mine. And that's just what I'm dealing with now. This spring my yard was taken over by Hairy Bittercress and some sort of fleabane.

Last month, I paid to have some guys weed and lay mulch. It looked great for a few weeks, but now it's once again weeds galore. I know that's natural, but it just seems way worse this year. I can't afford to keep hiring help yet it's too much to do by myself. I spend hours each weekend weeding but all I can see is what more needs to be done. (I don't use herbicides, BTW.)

I yearn for the good ole days when all I had to worry about was keeping the English Ivy and violets under control. Is anyone else dealing with this?
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener
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SoCalGardenNut
Jun 9, 2019 3:16 PM CST
I did leave one house when a crab grass was taking over my yard. The problem was with the gardener here blowing things around and that's how it happened. I understand completely.
I try to grow everything, sometime not successful.
MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 9, 2019 3:26 PM CST
Smiling SoCalGardenNut - Was that why you moved? Now that's one way to deal with it!
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener
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SoCalGardenNut
Jun 9, 2019 4:06 PM CST
SparklesGarden said: Smiling SoCalGardenNut - Was that why you moved? Now that's one way to deal with it!


One of the many reasons but it was a strong contributing factor. I live for my garden, it was a huge yard and I loved it there, but toward the end I was overwhelmed with the grass. I lost the game and moved.
I try to grow everything, sometime not successful.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Jun 9, 2019 5:20 PM CST
Oh Sparkles I'm so sorry your feeling low. I do understand how you're feeling. I wasn't able to do anything in the garden last summer due to illness so this year I'm trying to catch up. And you're right, the weeds seem even more horrible this year! I too have bindweed taking over things and creeping charlie in the rose beds and giant picky thistle weeds everywhere. And thanks to he blower, the grass in the flower beds is thicker than the lawn! Try not to let it overwhelm you and just focus on getting one small spot done at a time. Don't look at the big picture. It's too daunting. Just do what you can and keep your eyes on the pretty parts and not the ones yet to be done.
MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 9, 2019 8:14 PM CST
Thank you for your kind words and good advice, seilMI. Plus you helped me put things into perspective. Like you, I had to sit out a couple months of gardening a few years ago for health reasons. So I'm lucky that my current problem is only War of the Weeds. It could be far worse!
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 9, 2019 8:53 PM CST
We have had so much rain everything is growing like crazy. The crazy weed growing seems to be taking over the plants, I learned I to relax and not try to have perfect. I did start packing my gardens so there is not room for weeds. I know that style is not for every body.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 9, 2019 9:02 PM CST
SparklesGarden said: (I don't use herbicides, BTW.)

Then you are fighting a losing battle if you cannot get out to hand weed often. Sad Group hug
Portland (Zone 8b)
Vanessa999
Jun 10, 2019 1:37 PM CST
Cinta said:We have had so much rain everything is growing like crazy. The crazy weed growing seems to be taking over the plants, I learned I to relax and not try to have perfect. I did start packing my gardens so there is not room for weeds. I know that style is not for every body.

Yes we dont need it perfect otherwise we would not have any fingers left!
Portland (Zone 8b)
Vanessa999
Jun 10, 2019 2:03 PM CST
I dont mind a couple hours picking weeds. I have a foam pad for my knees andhead phones to distract!
MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 10, 2019 3:39 PM CST
Vanessa999 -- I just ordered one of those little gardening benches for myself!

RpR - Am I the only one not using herbicides? I worry about the pollinators, etc.

Cinta - Good point re. the packing. My weed situation is far worse where there's open space. But even in areas where I have a good groundcover, I've found some pernicious weeds slipping in underneath the groundcover.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 10, 2019 8:15 PM CST
SparklesGarden said:
RpR - Am I the only one not using herbicides? I worry about the pollinators, etc.

You can use herbicide with out using the broadcast method.
I used a total vegetation killer in my gardens this year by SPOT applying and nothing has died though when a neighbor, doing me a favor for Creeping Charlie, area sprayed some weed killer too close to one young peony , it acted like a drunken Irish man for bit but is fine now.
Name: Arnie
Southern California (Zone 10a)
RealLazyGardener
Jun 11, 2019 5:01 PM CST
I'm dealing with a similar situation with a member of the morning glory family that is related to the bindweed, and have similar growth patterns.

I never heard of bindweed before reading your post, and did a quick internet search and found an article that made a lot of sense to me.

It explains their roots spread far from the plants and that physical removal might not always work. If a small portion of the root is left in the ground new plants will grow. I've experienced this and it seems the more plants I take out, the more grow back more vigorously.

I'm going to try the two suggestions made in the article:

1) pour hot water about two to three feet from where the plant is growing while covering the area to the plant stem. This will kill the roots and my guess is it might have to be done a few times. Also, my guess is that boiling water should be used.

2) It is also suggests that constant pruning to the ground will kill the plant's roots as they constantly use all the energy it takes in and kills them.

Don't know if these techniques are effective but I'm going to try them. Everything else I've tried has not worked and my feeling is I'll be able to spend less time working with these weeds and more time with plants I enjoy growing.

Hope this helps.
MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 11, 2019 5:26 PM CST
Thanks RpR and RealLazy.

RealLazy - I'm interested in your results.

I like the idea of using boiling water but in my case the bindweed is in established beds and I don't have the option of using it without killing desirable plants. Even pulling the bindweed vine out from the ground is challenging because in some cases the good plants are so thick that I am unable to get in there and locate the source. But I'm hopeful that pruning, even if not to the ground, will help somewhat.

My next door neighbor's yard has had a bindweed problem (among being overgrown with many other weeds) for years and it's all coming my way. I guess I should be thankful that it's not bamboo.
Name: Sue
Bexar County, South Texas
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Butterflies Dragonflies Bee Lover
Moon Gardener Organic Gardener Ferns
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Never_Ending_Quest
Jun 11, 2019 5:46 PM CST
SparklesGarden said:Vanessa999 --

RpR - Am I the only one not using herbicides? I worry about the pollinators, etc..


@SparklesGarden I don't use herbicides either. And I am now even more careful with "natural" and "organic" pesticides. And I, too, lost a few months last year due to illness. So this year I am grateful just to be able to pull the weeds. Smiling Although I'd be even happier if there weren't so many...weeds... & (pests) bugs. Hilarious!
On a Never Ending Quest: First to learn...then to teach.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 11, 2019 7:07 PM CST
If you are really, really afraid of herbicides may good fortune be with you.

A spring or so ago some one here wrote of a bind-weed problem and I boldly said I had it but just pulling took care of it.
Well that spring when the weeds hit the shores, I had bind-weed here there and every where. It was thick and every where.
I then spot sprayed where the roots came up and dug out some also.
It is not gone but one or two spot spritzes is all I need now though I still dig it out also.

Morning glory, I love them, but they are the bind=weed from hell as they never go away and in my potatoes have leaves the size of my fist.
Do not plant them any more.
Of course if I did, those would die, unless they wandered over into my veggie garden.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Tender Perennials Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tomato Heads
Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents
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Frenchy21
Jun 11, 2019 9:25 PM CST
RpR, what do you use to spot spray the bindweed? I have it too.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 11, 2019 10:52 PM CST
Frenchy21 said:RpR, what do you use to spot spray the bindweed? I have it too.

I stay away from Roundup products as they have never worked better than cheaper brands but at that, I generally use a vegetation killer that is systemic; ie. is kills the plants vascular system down to the root.
I have gone to farm fleet stores but be careful, while some of their stuff is more potent, it is also unforgiving if you are not careful.

I used some very strong stuff to wipe out some Canadian Thistle, it worked in that area as I had no weeds there for several years, nor did anything else grow there.
It is OK now but Nut Grass popped up. D'Oh! Blinking Figure that one out. Grumbling Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Tender Perennials Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tomato Heads
Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents
Image
Frenchy21
Jun 12, 2019 12:27 PM CST
So, no actual names of the products?
MD (Zone 7a)
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SparklesGarden
Jun 12, 2019 12:43 PM CST
Never_Ending_Quest - I even feel a little worried using boiling water in case I hurt earthworms.

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