My husband asked one day why I’m always tearing the flower heads off the milkweeds. Why don’t I just pull them and be done with it?
I admit it’s partly because I’m too lazy to stop, pull the weed and throw it away. But I can fit a small cluster of flowers into my pocket, not a whole plant. See, you just can’t walk by a weed in flower and do nothing because I know every blossom will produce seed very soon. They’re like little cluster bombs just waiting to go off. When they explode the seeds will blow all over the garden. Some will sprout to make my life miserable later this season. Other’s will wait and make me painfully aware of their all too numerous presence next year.
A single star thistle plant can produce up to 10,000 seeds in a single season. That’s why this particular invasive weed is wrecking havoc across western rangeland. But other domestic backyard weeds are equally as prolific. June is the month that sends them all into seed-producing overdrive. Those you behead now will not mature to bedevil you later on. So even if you’re busy or just too lazy to pull the whole plant, at least chop off the flowers knowing that none are left behind to produce that all too pernicious seed.
Believe it our not, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) actually as a Weeds website. Access it at www.blm.gov/weeds This is the common doorway to the weed sites of various states where you’ll learn all about invasive exotics and how to control them in ecologically responsible ways.