10 August 2009

We all spend a lot of hours every week pulling weeds. Or, if we don't, the garden is full of weeds by late summer without any hope of a beautiful result in September.

A two year study was conducted in Alaska by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and the results were published by the Weed Science Society of America.

All the container grown plants for the study were purchased from nurseries. The soil was incubated and "researchers found 54 weeds or invasive plants had been transported alongside the container-grown ornamentals. The five most common included: sticky chickweed (Cerastium glomeratum Thuill.); hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta L.); common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris L.); La Plata sandspurry (Spergularia plantensis [Cab.] Fenzl); and birch (Betula sp.)."

The conclusion? "Based on the Alaska data, it is clear that container plants play a role in the spread of weeds that can be a risk to native plants and wildlife habitats."
You can read the entire report at WSSA.

It would be good if someone could come up with another word for deadheading. The removal of faded flowers helps the plant make more flowers. But deadheading? Surely lovers of all things pretty could use a prettier word.

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