Seed Swaps

Largest pampas grass clump removed; Hostas sprouting; Yard too soggy to plant asparagus

03 Mar 2012
Rainy 15°C / 59°F

From noon-ish on Saturday through Sunday morning it rained, steadily, without a break. According to my rain gauge, we got 3.2" of rain in less than a day. Results? (1) I think that our drought is officially over. (2) Lots of ponds in our yard. Including a large pool of standing water in a spot where I don’t remember ever seeing one before – along our back fence line, in the area where I planted 2 dogwoods and a redbud about a month ago. I hope that those trees can survive a few days of standing water! The dogwoods are just starting to leaf out, and are looking so healthy…

In other weather news, temperatures are supposed to get down into the 30’s tomorrow night – hopefully not below freezing, because a whole bunch of tender plants (bananas, elephant ears, canna lilies, etc) have broken dormancy in the last week.

I was hoping to expand the asparagus bed and get the crowns planted this weekend, but the grass in that area was too soggy for digging and planting. Compacting the soil is not a step in the right direction. So instead of that I warmed up by weeding the front yard flower beds, and then tackled our largest clump of pampas grass. DH and I burned it a few weekends ago, and it had already started re-growing. I’m planning to relocate the pomegranate bed to that spot, since the bed’s original location doesn’t drain well, so the pampas grass had to go.

I bought an inexpensive machete from Amazon with the pampas grass in mind, and employed that as well as my hand saw and a shovel. I hacked and tugged and leaned and twisted and sawed and pried… and in the end, I prevailed! That pampas grass clump is no more. :)

I bagged up the pieces and wheelbarrowed them to the road to be picked up by the landscape waste truck later this week. And I turned the soil one shovel-blade deep, but I’ll have to do that again after the soil dries out a bit in order to remove more roots. I’m hoping not to encounter pampas grass shoots there in the future!

In other news, DH made one of my favorite dinners tonight: lentils and garden-fresh kale simmered in a red wine sauce with lots of onions, and served with spicy Italian chicken sausage. Yum!

And the first two Hosta sprouts appeared today!

Photo #1: After battling the pampas grass into submission
Photo #2: A photo of that same pampas grass clump earlier this winter (blocking the view of the one behind it), after DH and I trimmed it, but before we burned it
Photo #3: Tonight’s dinner, featuring Toscano kale from the garden




The red twigged dogwood is invasive in the wet areas on my property, if it is anything to go by, your dogwoods will probably be happy that they get the odd bit of flooding!

The pampas grass removal looks like quite a chore. Does it sprout up from bits of root? I remember sifting the soil to get rid of Chinese lantern roots – never again will a package of those seeds enter my home or garden!

Posted on 04 Mar 12 (over 7 years ago)

Ah, gardening in the mud, what fun. Congratulations on defeating the pampas grass. Dinner sounds, and looks very nice to come inside to.

Posted on 05 Mar 12 (over 7 years ago)

Sounds like a great deal of hard work … but it looks so nice now. Please ask your weather to warm up as we are heading to Myrtle Beach next weekend! :)

Posted on 05 Mar 12 (over 7 years ago)

@HazelJ: I hope that all dogwoods like water as much as your red twigged dogwoods, then! I’m not sure whether pampas grass can sprout from bits of root, but I sincerely hope not, because its root system is extensive! Sprouting from roots is NOT a good trait when you’re trying to remove a plant from a garden. I’m fighting with Bermuda grass in a bunch of garden beds, so I can sympathize with the magnitude of a soil-sifting root-removal task!
@LillyPilly: I had mud ALL OVER by the time I was done, including on my glasses and forehead. Thanks! I love that DH enjoys cooking, especially since we have similar tastes. He even harvested the kale himself this time, which was a first.
@HollyBee: It took a while, in 3 stages, but it’s done! Thanks. You know, I’ve never been to Myrtle Beach! After tomorrow, it looks like things are supposed to warm up again for a while – highs in the 60s and lower 70s. I hope that you have a great trip. If you’re planning an excursion down to Charleston, let me know!

Posted on 05 Mar 12 (over 7 years ago)

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