Well, I can’t put it off any longer; spring is officially here. I must admit, it feels a little weird having my windows open in March and walking around with a rake in hand. For two weeks already no less. On one hand, while it’s nice spring has arrived, on the other hand it’s a bit chaotic. As soon as things start popping through the soil it becomes a mad race to uncover and nurture the things I want to have grow, and go after the things I don’t. The last couple of years it seems like the weeds and invasive species have been winning. From rampant chipmunk over-population to spreading mustard garlic (and other invasives), I’m putting out fires everywhere I turn.
Initially, I eschewed pesticides. I tried “spot treating” problems when they cropped up, but I really try to keep my yard, flower and veggie gardens as organic and chemical-free as possible. Lets face it though, that plan isn’t cutting the (garlic) mustard anymore. So last year I decided to take this battle to the Dark Side and started using a few carefully selected chemicals. (If the engineer had his way I’d be spraying everything in sight with chlordane.) I put my magic potions in plastic spritzer bottles so I could hang them on my garden cart and zap the nasty interlopers on the spot. In years previous I did dumb things like “mark” the offending weed with a stick so I could come back and spray it later. With two stick-loving dogs? What WAS I thinking? No, this was serious business and I fully intended to nip things in the bud (so to speak) by hitting the pests with a vengeance.
Problem is, I failed to mark the bottles with what’s inside them. If you’re anything like me you constantly do things half-assed. You tell yourself you’ll get a marking pen and write the name of the potion on the spray bottle later, but you never actually get around to doing it. Instead, you put the chemicals in slightly different looking (read as: recycled) bottles and tell yourself you’ll remember which chemical is which by it’s container. For awhile you keep things straight and know which bottle contains what, but as the summer drags on it becomes a bit of a guessing game. In a pinch, I’ll resort to sniffing a bottle to identity the contents in question, but I never do get that marking pen and mark the bottles. Ever. So chances are when that new patch of Poison Ivy didn’t die off after being sprayed it was probably because I hit it with insecticide, not weed killer. *Sigh*
Eventually, like all good things, gardening season comes to an end. I diligently store the four or five different containers of nasty juice on a shelf; nice and orderly, but still not marked. As I stand and gaze at my handiwork (all proud because for once I actually put my gardens “to bed” and picked up my gardening tools) I tell myself I really ought to figure out which bottle contains what and jot it down, but …. well, I don’t.
Now I’m right back where I started, with weeds and vines springing to life as I try to figure out which bottle contains the concoction I need. Meanwhile, the Poison Ivy, mustard garlic, Virgina Creeper, Wild Strawberry and God knows whatever else has decided to invade my property this year plots their revenge. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say forget it. The bugs, the weeds, the heat and humidity …. is it worth it?