Monday 15 July 2013

Lady's Thumb has taken over, by Kira


This plant is called Lady's Thumb.
It is from the Polygonaceae (Smartweed or Knotweed) family.
It is an annual and only spreads by seed.
Lady's Thumb can reach up to 1 metre high.
It's leaves are narrow with a brown or black spot on each leaf.
The flowers vary from white, pink to red and flower early summer into fall.
It will grow in any soil types, but will thrive in moist areas around and near ponds. One more interesting fact; this plant can produce up to 3000 seeds per plant. Yikes!

This past spring we decided we would plant our vegetables on last year's pig pasture. The ground was already cleared and fertilized thanks to the pigs.
In late Spring, Andrew ploughed the land to flatten it out so I could plant.
In this particular garden I planted beans, squashes, corn, onions, peppers, and basil.

At the same time that my seeds started to sprout and the started plants I put into the ground started to take root, another plant started to sprout and grow.
Before I knew it, this plant was choking out my seedling and crowding out my started plants.

Lady's Thumb.

I'm not much of a weeder to begin with.
I usually leave the weeds until they reach a fairly large size then cut them down leaving them where they lie and covering the whole bit with straw. This method has worked well for me in the past. Not with this weed I'm afraid. There is way to much of it to pull out by hand and it is nearly impossible to cover it all with straw. I tried covering a small area with straw and had no luck.
The plant just pushed its way to the surface.

But this weed has not defeated me!
Yes I have some of my squash plants and replanted in other areas,
but I have plans for this area.
We will grow a small pasture.
Within the next couple of weeks we will disturb the soil again and plant it with grasses and legumes, preparing the land for next year.
Not another chicken pasture either!
This will be for something or things a little bigger. :)

1 comment:

  1. Lady's Thumb must be what has taken over the remainder of our compost heap.