: Gardening Rule:
: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a
: valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a
: valuable plant.
I do so much weed pulling that I am developing a highly scientific measure
of a weed's coefficient of resistance to total removal. It takes into
account stem diameter and tensile strength, root length, diameter, and
tensile strength, root type, and soil type, texture, and moisture content.
On one end of the scale, there's red clover which offers complete
resistance to total removal because its stems are so weak it invariably
sacrifices its top to save the roots. On the other end, there's Lamb's
Quarters, a good weed for beginners since it offers a sastifying
experience of total removal under a wide range of soil and moisture
conditions for stem diameters under 3/4".
Among the most deeply rewarding moments for the expert weeder, I think, is
having gauged the weeding conditions just right and bagging a mature
Pokeweed with a taproot the size of a turnip in a single straight pull
unassisted by tools. It's moments like this that remind us why we garden.
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