Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maybe Aristotle Was Right

"Nuke it from orbit; it's the only way to be sure."

I've spent my Daylight Savings Time hours well, and have a lot to show for it in my bad garden. (When I find the cable that magically gets pictures from my camera into my laptop I will show you what I mean.)

Except for a couple of small patches, I have the blackberry and ivy out all the way to the eastern fence. I have seven raised beds in, with more coming this week. (Thank you, FreeCycle!) Along with the two green-manure boxes, I planted a box of strawberries, a box of lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and beans 'n' peas. I got the large stump from the large, ugly bush dug out (thank you, Jason!). I leveled out and put down pavers in the back, northwest corner—the sunniest spot in the yard. I planted the borders and between the pavers with (mostly) plants rescued from other parts of the yard.

That's the good news. The bad news is, while digging out some turf to make a level spot for one of the FreeCycle raised beds, I noticed that while some of the blackberry is reemerging from buried roots (pretty easy to dig out in the still-soft soil), other buried blackberry roots are not sending up new growth and are instead concentrating on below-the-ground growth. So I don't know they're there.

Fuckers. That pretty much means that whenever I put something in, I must first dig out the top eight inches of soil in order to locate and remove all blackberry traces. That makes for some slow going. After I'd cleared, smoothed over, and leveled a 7-by-7-foot area for the last of the beds, I took a breather and sat down by my new little patio and hand-weeded for a bit. Orange Gina and Vivani sat with me, or chased sticks or bugs that caught their fancy. And I noticed, while I was weeding, something mixed in with the crab-grass and onions and pimpernel and assorted invaders. Huh; it looks a lot like tiny blackberry plants. But it pulls right up and isn't attached to any buried stems or roots...I finally examined one closely. Yep: baby blackberry plants. Hundreds of them! How? Why?

So discouraging.

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