Sunday, March 14, 2010

You might be a WEED if...

There is an oft commented saying about weeds that goes something like, "A weed is just a plant or flower in a place that you don't want it to be." 

YOU might call a stray cosmos or 4 o'clock a weed all you like my friends, but they are not WEEDS, with all capital letters.  There is a distinct difference between a WEED and a misguided flower, and to help everyone clarify this difference, I though we could use the Jeff Foxworthy identification process.

You might be a WEED are totally indifferent if its cold, hot, muddy, dry, sandy, clayish, sunny, dark, windy, humid, gritty, lacking oxygen, lacking nitrogen, the place is on fire and it's hailing -  all at the same time.

If you feel pretty certain you have a fighting chance of establishing roots on a rolling bowling ball in the trunk of a 1985 Cutlass just might be a WEED.

You might be a WEED if you can overwinter 128 years in a row waiting for that one day when someone makes the error of uncovering you and 85,000 of your closest friends.

You might also be a WEED if you tend to grow a 5 inch by 10 inch root ball before actually sprouting anything lest someone might see you.

And if you can grow this rootball and sprout your first leaf in the time it takes the average person to use the bathroom, you just might be a WEED.

If you can see your entire family tree when you stand on your tippy-stems, and as a matter of fact you're still connected to them, then you might be a and a WEED.

And finally, you might be a WEED if you can have your starter leaves look, at any single moment, like every single other kind of plant that is lovingly planted in the garden until you grow more than 5-6 leaves, and which point you sprout out of that 'fake' plants stomach like an Aliens baby and eat all the actual garden plants in sight.  You are definitely a WEED if  you keep doing this.  Face it.

Instead of trying to feel better about weeds by calling them misplaced flowers, I think Doug Larson has done them justice in saying:

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

Now THAT is true.


  1. Hi Jess, The little devils are survivors! Right now in March in New England, the only thing green things in my sidewalk planting beds are weeds, and how luxuriant they are! Seems a bit unfair to be weeding around invisible plants :)

  2. My perspective of weeds has changed significantly living here. Most are deemed wildflowers now. The real 'WEEDS' here are the thugs and bullies that actively destroy habitats, like our broom, and Vinca. Our 'weeds', although disorderly, and not growing in rows, really don't seem so bad.

  3. Loved this Jess!
    I'm pretty sure blackberry could grow on a bowling ball rolling around in the boot of a car! I know it can not only grow a rootball and its's first leaf, but shoot out six canes, take root on three of them, flower and fruit all in the time it takes the average person to go to the bathroom. But I'm not taking it personally, no not me :D

  4. When they do figure out how to plant themselves in rows, it's all over! Great post on weeds!

  5. Mr. Foxworthy, eat your heart out! :D lol

  6. Jess, what an awesome post! I especially laughed over the one about taking root on a bowling ball in the Cutlass Sierra. ;)

    I did recently discover a use for weeds, however, which might be generally overlooked in the garden. In the Peruvian highlands, where gardening is conducted on quite dramatic slopes, winter weeds are left in place until the young veggie plants have established themselves, say in four to eight weeks, to help hold the soil in place. Since we're having similar issues with flash flooding and washouts in our downward-sloping kitchen garden, I've decided to leave a few weeds in place for now -- being sure to remove any flowerheads immediately!

  7. Very funny and quite a true commentary on weeds, my chief garden nemesis.

  8. Utterly brilliant commentary on the theatre of weeds. I love the graphics too!

  9. Dear Jess, This is all so very true, particularly where at the start the 'weed' appears in the guise of a plant one is cosseting and cherishing. Usually one discovers one's error when it has just finished seeding and/or eating every other plant in sight.

    I have really enjoyed this amusing posting and have signed up to be notified by email in order not to miss future ones.

  10. Hi Jess~~ You might be a WEED if you can fling five trillion of your seeds six feet in every direction including up the nose of the person [me] trying to eradicate you. [Read: Bittercress.]

    Great post.

  11. Great post! I chuckled all the way through. I spend endless hours pulling weeds, only to have their siblings appear in hordes overnight, marching through my lawn and gardens and chanting victory songs.

  12. Glad all of you had a chuckle... as you can probably guess, I got a weed problem. I think there are 1000 wild onions in my front garden. Sigh.

  13. I know it's 2 years since you wrote this blog, but Jess I just stumbled across it and roared! Read it to my mom and she just Loved it! Too true, too True! Oh I think blackberry vines could actually root and grow in the vacuum of space. Delicious berries but ohhhhh.... one pays the price. Anyway! I also wanted to say that Preen is a godsend. It doesn't kill the weeds that have already sprouted, but it makes all of their seeds sterile so they don't sprout. All you have to do is pull up the initial weeds and you're done. Apply Preen every 3 months. Found in the garden section (duh *L*) Thanks again Jess!

    1. Hi Linda, thanks and welcome. Its always nice to get comments and realize someone is reading these old posts!