Posted: January 19, 2023 in Do-it-yourself, gardening, home, home maintenance, Top Tips

Billy Williams once said, “I enjoy painting, cutting the lawn, and working in the garden when I have time. That’s therapy for me. I enjoy working with my hands.” I feel exactly the same way. For me, it doesn’t matter how screwy the world gets, it doesn’t matter how stressed I get, all I need do is go out and work in my garden, staying out there from dawn till dusk, and by the time I come back indoors all is well. Getting my hands dirty is therapeutic, maybe it reminds me of the carefree days of childhood. I love my garden and the constant nature therapy it gives me. Here in New Zealand, it is the height of summer. Gardening becomes impossible after midday. Cool breezes and temperatures have given way to blistering days and soaring temperatures.

As for the weeds, they don’t seem to be affected by the heat but carry on thriving in a bountiful fashion regardless. In my ongoing efforts to control weeds, I employ various methods. With small weeds, I dig them up with a hoe and leave them on top of the soil to die. With Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum), I dig up and dispose of it. The invasive Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia) can be dealt with in many ways. Either find someone with chickens and bag it up fresh for them, as my dad used to do, or put it into plastic sacks and tie them up. Leave the bags sealed until the weeds turn to liquid and can be used as fertilizer! Another way of eradicating Wandering Jew is to pull out every scrap you can scratch from the ground. Or you can cover it in large sheets of tin roofing held down with stones to prevent light from getting in and leave it for 6 months or more. Lack of sunlight and air will eventually kill it.

My good friend, Lyle, used to pile all the pulled-out weeds on the ground, cover them with a plastic sheet, and weigh them down. He said he uncovered it every few weeks, and turned the pile over with a garden fork, crushing under the gumboots, and covering it with a plastic sheet. The noxious weed eventually transformed into compostable soil. Be warned before you put it back on your vegetable beds. Even the smallest scrap of root will regrow.
With Oxalis (from the wood sorrel family Oxalidaceae), resist the temptation to pull it out. This only makes the weeds multiply virulently. You can either cover oxalis with plastic, or tin sheets, and weigh them down till they suffocate, or you can pour boiling water directly on the oxalis plants, which burns the roots.

This is coincidentally the season when Onehunga weed (also known as Prickle Weed or Bindii) flourishes anew on our lawn. While the seeds germinate in autumn and get spread by foot traffic and on the fur of animals, the plants are forming flowers by the middle of spring. These contain ripening seeds with spines. Then the seeds mature and drop by the middle of summer. The best time to cull them is to treat them in spring, preferably before they have a chance to flower.
I have experimented with various ways to combat Prickle Weed, and I’ll admit I resort to a potent pesticide for this issue. Hydrocolyte is the only treatment that seems to work for me. It kills only the Prickle Weed and leaves the grass and other plants to grow. I walk the lawns and spray it plant by plant as it appears in the grass. It has to be done twice in summer. Painstaking but worth it to have no prickles, especially when the granddaughter is here racing about the garden, or the times I want to walk barefoot on the grass.

Also, don’t forget to water in summer! It’s vital to monitor moisture levels on young trees, dwarf fruit trees, kiwi fruit and citrus, which are shallow-rooted and dry easily. Feijoas are in the same category and will produce far greater yields if they are kept watered. If plant roots have moisture they are able to take up minerals needed and will stay healthy and more resistant to disease.
Happy Gardening. More next time, green thumbs.

Talk to you later.
Keep creating!
Yvette Carol

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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  1. J M Negi says:

    I could recognize ” prickle Weed” by the pictures, not going by what the botanical name was, and yes here in the mountainous region of the state of Uttarakhand in India, its common. Incidentally, other name “Bindii” struck me more, ( we would pronounce it Bindee, though) it will be interesting to know where it originated from!
    Last quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., says it all….
    wonderful, thanks a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gardening can be very fulfilling.Here in Germany, however, one still wants an exact order of all plants in the garden. I am surprised that not every plant must have proof of origin. Lol But I prefer pure nature. Our neighbor doesn’t like this. All the best to you and yours, Carol! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very good tips on how to kill off oxalis. It is a truly stubborn character!

    Liked by 2 people

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