I could be forgiven for being a novice gardener at the time … I mean I had no idea that the weed that I had just hoisted from our flower garden was in fact ‘wandering jew’. So I tossed it into my weed pile and then took that to our cold compost, which just so happens to be next to our native forest. Good riddance!
Well actually no. As it happens wandering jew is one of those plants ( noxious weed in NZ) that loves shade, adores it actually and doesn’t mind if it doesn’t see the sun for quite some time. ( I hauled out bags and bags of it last year and left these to sit behind our garage, the plants were still alive in the bags months later). So being disposed of in my cold compost was probably like going on holiday for the damned stuff … and yes, it took off.
The really annoying thing was that it took me a couple of years to realise my error and only because a friend (botanist) pointed out the weed happily creeping amongst the kikuyu, down near our forest. I remember thinking at the time ‘ah, so that’s what it looks like’ … and my next thoughts were ‘oh no’.
|Horrible stuff … ‘Wandering Jew’|
So from that day onwards, I dedicate at least a few hours a month to crawl around on hands and knees carefully hoisting the stuff out and you need to be very careful when removing it. This rotten stuff grows from the tiniest section left in the soil, which snaps off easily if you tug too hard. It grows from runners and does a splendid job of doing this, creeping quickly along the ground. It smothers other plants and if it does get into our forest, it will encumber native tree seedlings from growing. The other issue with this weed and one that you may not be aware of, is that it can give your pooch itchy skin, so get it out.
Yes more azolla. It was a weekend of weeds. But this weed I don’t mind so much. It is prolific at reproducing and will if left alone also smother other water plants … in saying this it makes a brilliant mulch!
About 2 weeks back I used it to mulch one of my garlic beds. I’m sure most gardeners will think I’m nuts doing this, as azolla is high in nitrogen and may well encourage the garlic to grow lots of greenery rather than ‘bulb’ up. But I thought it would make a good experiment. So with this in mind Andrew spent an hour or so skimmer in hand gathering more for my garden. What a guy!
At last, I have started my planting plan for summer, all I need to do now is check my seed supply which by the way is stored in the fridge (no not in my house fridge!). I suspect I will need to replenish some of my supplies … and I might even look at buying some new varieties. Certainly carrots and flowers .. time to get some new blooms in that vege garden. I’m also going to look at purchasing some more heirloom cucumbers. More on that later ….
|Onion weed and ‘Forget-me-not’ … growing happily in my flower garden|