Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pulling those "weeds"

Hedgeparsley (begger's lice) and chickweed
They're backkkkk. It's that time again to pull those pesky cool season annuals. Relaxing, mindless work to take your mind off all the other problems.
One of the weedy grasses I yank
Catchweed bedstraw
Common chickweed



Carrie said...

Something to consider about these plants...

Chickweed, henbit, dandelion, sweet clover (and a few others) have ecological value as early blooming plants that nurture pollinators (bees, flower flies, overwintering butterflies, beetles, gnats, etc) seeking nectar at a time of the year when there is precious little else (since we have devastated much of their native habitat and plants). Birds and stirring lizards seeking much-needed winter protein dine on those pollinators, in turn. Bumblebees emerge at just about this time, and have a particular affinity for henbit. These may be non-native plants, but the non-native european honey bee relies on them throughout mild winters when it sporadically stirs from its hive. These plants are also useful as naturally occurring cover crops which prevent wind erosion of the soil and bring minerals up from the soil into their plant tissues, adding to soil health when turned under or when tossed in the compost pile.

Sitting in the hot sun on the cold ground while gazing at the uninterrupted activity around these plants for a couple of hours will make for some interesting observations...

Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, author and lepidopterist and the founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, will be speaking at the Texas Pollinator PowWow in Lubbock and Tahoka Lake on April 22-24. His presentation will partially address the ecological value of some non-native plants and he will question the wisdom of our intentions and actions where these "weeds" are concerned.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Yes, I've thought about that, Carrie. Thank you for sharing the great info. I figure there's enough growing in other spots in our Wildscape that I can yank them within the beds.

Carrie said...

Your wildflower meadow is maturing so thick and lovely that I'm surprised that anything else can pop up in it! But nature usually finds a way, doesn't it?... Are you coming to the Lubbock conference, Sheryl?

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

No. Just too far for me. :-)

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