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Creek Running North
February 14, 2004
When I built the garden beds last year, I wanted to economize on the amount of soil mix I'd have to buy to fill the things, which had a capacity of about eight cubic yards. So I put whatever I could at the bottoms of the beds: old compost from the previous owners' ratty, infested lawn, leftover scraps of sod from our new lawn, soil excavated from the area where I still haven't installed the flagstone patio, potting soil from pots with dead plants in them. When I'd run out of easy sources of fill, it only took four yards of store-bought compost to fill the beds the rest of the way.
When you reuse old soil or compost in garden beds, you always run the risk of importing plant material you don't want to grow in the beds. In other words, weeds. There's a weedy oxalis out here that travels this way, in gifts of potted plants from friends or shovels full of compost from the stable, bearing the ineradicable little corms of this attractive nuisance. There are seeds of weeds like foxtails and mallow and tickseed, runners like bermuda grass and mint and bamboo and blackberries, a hundred thousand ways to bring invaders into your carefully maintained garden plot.
And it turns out I've got this sort of problem. Evidently, a not-quite-dead plant bulb hid out in a pot full of barren soil, to send its tendrils up among my mixed planting of spinach and shallots. Oh, poor me:
It's Hesperantha vaginata, a rare and hard-to-find South African native bulb in the Iris family, that goes dormant in the summer after it blooms. I'll have to mark the spot where it's growing, keep that part of the raised beds dry until it dies back, and replant it in a dry corner of the garden, which is to say pretty much anywhere else other than the vegetable beds.
Nota bene Zeke's rubber duck, in the photo background, resting where he tossed it into the garden bed. I'll have to retrieve it for him.
Posted by Chris Clarke at February 14, 2004 03:20 PM
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maybe there's more whereever that one came from. or was that from one of your own pots?Posted by: bill at February 15, 2004 07:35 PM
Yeah, it was from one of my own pots. And I found it after I'd gone out to shell out seven bucks for another one!Posted by: Chris Clarke at February 15, 2004 08:01 PM