Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The philosophy of weeds

posted Fri, 27 Aug 2004

Do we hate nutgrass simply because it is “other?” Because it is not Bermuda or zoysia or fescue?

Or do we hate it because, as the government of New Zealand puts it, “It has been described as the 'world’s worst weed’ due to its aggressive nature, persistent growth and resistance to control?”

I think the latter.

Sure, it looks OK. I mean, it's green.

But it kills everything else in the yard!

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how I even got nutgrass in the first place, considering it is (again, according to the kiwis) a native of India. How did it get here?

I didn’t have nutgrass until after I had the back yard tilled. Ironically, the whole reason I had it tilled was to get a nicer yard. Ha. Little did I know that I was opening the door for pestilence, plague and destruction.

The kiwis know all. Here, they imply that it is transported on equipment (tilling equipment???): “To prevent the further spread of nutgrass, it is essential that all cropping equipment is thoroughly cleaned down on site before being transported elsewhere. Ensure that you and your neighbours are aware of the problems this plant pest presents and insist that harvesters coming onto your properties have been cleaned down.”

So what do you do when the person who opened Pandora’s box in your yard is a friend? And you can’t prove it anyhow? And even if you did prove it, so what? The problem is there. It wasn't on purpose. It might not even be from the friend's tiller.

I mowed my back yard last night. There are patches of brown where I had zapped the first bunches of nutgrass. I thought I had gotten it all, but apparently I was wrong, because now it looks like the lawn consists of nothing but nutgrass. All the other grass has gotten scared and disappeared.

At first I thought that maybe if I just scatter some other grass seed this fall – maybe some rye – that it would thrive and the nutgrass would disappear. But this morning I thought maybe I should do a little nutgrass research. As you can read, the news was not good. Now I am thinking that the only solution will be to poison the entire back yard to kill the beast and then start all over again from scratch.

Or maybe sell my house in the winter so no one knows what bad shape the yard is in.

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