Another Take on Weeds and Wildflowers

This morning’s news had a feature with a great perspective on the weeds vs. wildflower debate that rages in my mind and in the mind of anyone with acreage. Or with a garden, for that matter.

mullein-flowers-weed
This mullein looks so pretty near the trunk of this old tree, but don’t let it fool you. It can be an invasive weed, and don’t get me started on the horehound to the lower right.

CBS news correspondent Steve Hartman is turning several acres of land into a prairie wildflower meadow and taking it one day at a time. It’s a great story and one that makes you appreciate nature, wildflowers and persistence.

I’m not sure if I have the patience to do what Hartman is attempting. What’s more, annual rainfall in the Catskills is closer to 40 inches, at least double what we get here. Of course, as long as a landowner chooses native wildflower seeds, it shouldn’t matter too much. There are plenty of widlflowers that reseed in the Southwest easily, even growing along dry, graveled roadways or out of rocky mountainsides. If you purchase a native grass or wildflower mix, it should give a weed percentage. Make sure it’s as low as possible.

We have started throwing seed heads into an area we call “the pit,” a dug-out portion of our property that we believe once served as a vegetable garden. It’s our place for weed piles and wheel barrow storage now. But we thought instead of throwing out deadheaded flowers, we’d scatter them there. If that experiment works, who knows?  But I don’t think I can try what Hartman is doing until we control the weeds already growing among the wildflowers and get a better handle on deciding which are too invasive to keep and which could populate a mini-meadow.

weeds and wildflowers in sunken pit of yard
The pit, where we planted sunflowers that either didn’t make it or got eaten, but some volunteers came up. This might someday make a great sunken wildflower meadow.

For now, good for him, his purpose and his meditative state. I hope to achieve it while weeding this week.