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I knew my garlic mustard from lamb’s quarters or mugwort, wild grape from bittersweet or Ampelopsis, oxalis from everything else.
The USDA conservation map show the presence of Pilea pumila in 38 states, and parts of eastern Canada. I BRING UP A WARM-SEASON WEED like this right now for two reasons: There are probably a lot of them in general in our gardens, and specifically because a lot of them are about to go to seed as in the detail photo above).
My cardboard technique for making new garden beds can also work for weed-control, and I sometimes spot-smother smaller areas when I can’t keep up with the pulling or digging. I just came across this post as I was searching for the name of this plant that grows in a shady wildflower part of my yard. For instance, poison ivy is a very important native plant that animals depend upon, and that holds the banks of many coastal areas from erosion and so on with its impressive root network. Gardening involves editing, and I edit with an informed hand, keeping balance and the needs of nature in mind.
It is such an easy weed to pull — I have a hard time taking it seriously, but your article gives it the recognition any respectable weed deserves. Now, living in a Mid-Atlantic state with a very compromised landscape full of invasives and very much lacking any evidence of the historic flora, I am so welcoming to native plants, of any sort, in yard space, flower beds or edging alike!
Pilea pumila is in the Nettle family, and you may want to keep your stands of it, because it is the host plant or larval plant for the Red Admiral butterfly, the Comma butterfly, and the Question Mark butterfly, to name a few. There are a lot of plants that we think of as weeds that are larval food, and if you want the butterflies, then you need to have some room for these plants. It’s not often when worry is put to rest, especially when it comes from playing in water. After entering in your email, you’ll become a free member of the APN community and will receive ebooks, event listings and webinars in our weekly newsletter. For decades each summer I have pulled thousands of self-sown seedlings of a plant whose name eluded me, but whose habit and appearance were all too familiar. Pilea pumila, unlike some of my other more firmly rooted opponents, is easy to slip out of the ground without tools, particular after a rain. I grew up in northern Italy, where the first tender growth of stinging nettles is coveted for such a purpose.
I love it, and would never try to kill it on the roadside edge of my garden, or elsewhere at the fringes.
The stinging nettle is native all the way across the country to the East Coast…but only in the Northeast, not the Southeast (where it is naturalized but not native). I had worked in the Semiconductor Industry for over 20 years, and as part of the company’s ERT(Emergency Response Team)I was taught how to respond to Hazmat situations.
A prime reason I chose my home was because it had a Water Well, a key item in maintaining independence from outside resource.


I’d come upon one stand after another, summer after summer, lurking in masses under shrubs and trees and even under large perennials.
I could have guessed at its common name, since the stems are practically translucent, or clear.
Place seed-laden or rhizomatous weeds in a large plastic bag first, to cook them to death, before incorporating them into the compost heap.
I think success starts with proper ID, and my article on how to identify weeds, including links to many online tools, can help you get to know yours. But if stinging nettle wants to be in the middle of a group of hostas in the shade garden, that’s probably not the best spot for it, so I remove it.
Since this is the case, I root for natives everywhere, and find it a new state of mind for gardening. Although the Tyvek suits you mention are cheap(relatively speaking) the filters for the masks you may want are not and have a finite shelf life to them. And no wonder I have so much of it: It favors moist soils such as mine generally is, and shady and semi-shady spots in or near woodlands such as the one I garden on the edge of.
It has taken over my flower gardens, my lawn, my driveway and even growing up out of the rocks around the foundation of my house, it even survives standing water. Unlike Garlic Mustard or Dames Rocket which are foreign invasives, or many other cultivated plants in our gardens, this plant belongs here.
But to cultivate edibles or ornamentals (or other native plants for that matter) you have to decide who gets the space in a garden bed, because a garden is a contrivance, a manmade planting, with deliberate choices involved.
How beautiful, to be a diplomatic host to a variety of native plants and learning their part in the ecosystem.
They can compliment other flowers and shrubs with their interesting leaf texture and color and flower heads, Ornamental grassa€? nodding flower heads also provide beauty and movement in fall and winter to provide interest in an otherwise bleak winter landscape.
Just because it is commonly called a weed, does not mean it is a weed that needs to be pulled (like the Milkweed that our Monarch butterflies depend on).
BTW…those Tyvek suits are great for losing weight, doing any kind of physical activity in them will get you sweaty in no time!! Ornamental grasses also provide habitat for birds and insects making them key players in an ecologically oriented yard.A Where, When and How to PlantOrnamental grasses are best purchased as transplants from local garden centers in spring or obtained from a frienda€™s garden as divisions. Sorry so many other people are having problems with it, but thankful to know I’m not alone! Plant grasses from spring to early fall in full or part sun to form the best flower heads on well-drained, compost-amended soil. It grows happily with native ferns, native geranium, trillium, and May Apples in my garden.
Space the plants according to their growth habit, from 1 to 3 feet apart.A Growing TipsKeep newly planted grasses well watered after planting.


All are native plants and I encourage them by pulling the true invasives like Garlic Mustard. Apply a layer of compost each spring to encourage their growth.A Regional Advice and CareNot all types of ornamental grasses are hardy throughout New England. Please use care when making these posts and encourage people to keep their native plants that they are lucky enough to have growing in their gardens. Leave the flower heads to enjoy in fall and winter and cut back ornamental grasses in early spring before new growth emerges. Some grasses will self sow readily and volunteers should be thinned out in spring.A Companion Planting and DesignPlant ornamental grasses with other late summer and fall blooming perennials, such as Russian sage, rudbeckia, asters, and sedum or with evergreens and shrubs.
Tall ornamental grasses, such as feathered reed grass, can be grown into an informal hedge to screen an unsightly view.
Mounding types, such as hakone grass, make great additions as a ground cover or edging plant.A Try Thesea€?Karl Foerstera€? feathered reed grass grows 5 to 6 feet tall producing purple-colored flower heads that fade to tan. Northern sea oat grass is a native grass that grows 3 to 4 feet tall with beautiful oat seed heads that turn brown in fall and are good for flower arrangements.
Blue fescue grass only grows in 1-foot tall mounds with blue foliage and tan flower heads.Excerpted from my book, New England Getting Started Garden Guide.
Ornamental grasses have become a staple fixture in many residential and commercial landscapes. These beautiful grasses not only add color and texture to a bleak landscape, they add motion. When a breeze blows through a stand of oat or reed grass you can almost see the wind’s shape and intensity.
While many ornamental grasses are easy to grow, you have to be selective about which ones you plant in our climate. Here are some of my favorites.Karl Forester reed grass has pink plumes in summer that last into fall. Northern Oat grass grows 3 to 4 feet tall and in fall produces flattened, oat seed heads that sound great in a breeze and look beautiful cut as a dried flower indoors.
Japanese Silver grass or Miscanthus sinensis grows 3 to 6 feet tall in tightly packed clumps and has pink or red flowers. It grows only 8 inches tall in mound shape with attractive blue-green leaves and airy flowers. Place them in a shady spot outdoors to acclimate to low light, then bring them into a bright window indoors and keep the soil moist, but not over watered.From the Vermont Garden Journal.




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Comments

  1. kroxa, 03.03.2014
    I'm not sure anaerobic digestor/filter willing to guess.
  2. Aysel, 03.03.2014
    Have different worm bins, but 2014, 22 so the natural food industry can your beds, then.