There's a lot of advice about the best way to weed, but not so much about when. In my opinion, when is the operative word. As in, when are you going to get around to doing it? I'm not a big fan of getting down on my hands and knees, so I try to match my weeding jobs to my mood. Maybe I sound like a real primadonna, but think about it - there are so many types of weeding jobs to do, there's always going to be one to suit you. I'd classify them like this.
Time Out Weeding: I've been avoiding this mess all summer, but yesterday I was steaming mad about a bunch of things that happened at work. I went out to the garden and hit this patch with the full force of my shovel. This type of task is perfect when you're feeling absolutely murderous and need to get your head together. Good for the garden because you can keep weeds from worming their way into your perennials. It's worth spending time getting rid of invasive plants like this (or at least under control) before winter hits. They're easier to find and eradicate now, and if you leave them til spring you'll definitely fall into the depths of despair.
Deep Cleaning Weeding: So soul cleansing, a true spiritual experience. There's nothing more satisfying than digging those big mothers out by the roots. It's a real pick me up for when you're feeling a little down in the dumps. Be honest, do you take time to get all those huge weeds out by the roots in the summer? I didn't think so. Don't go at it all day when you do this kind of weeding, it's a foot and back killer.
This monster is not coming back into my garden any time soon. Is this empowering or what? I'm sure they'll be back again next year, but for now, victory is mine.
Intellectual Weeding: You need to be in a reflective or depressed state of mind to tackle jobs like this. It helps keep you on top of your game too. Just wander around with your garden knife and you'll spot offenders you missed over the summer. These Rose of Sharon seedlings would take over the whole garden if I let them. No mercy, my trusty knife will get them out by the roots. So satisfying.
Patient Weeding: This kind of weeding keeps me from getting mad at my husband when I'm waiting for him to get ready when we're going out. Instead of getting impatient and bitchy, I pluck out the little weeds in the front garden while I wait. They sprout up at a scary rate - as quickly as the hairs on my chin and upper lip. Fortunately they come out just as easily and I have many opportunities to pick at them! Good for learning patience and pondering problems of the world. Self seeding weeds keep us gardeners humble and alert.
Kick Ass Weeding: I save beds like this for times when I feel like I can conquer the world. Not for the faint of heart, those with hurting backs, feet or hands. You have to jump on times like this. I find they come less often as you age.
Quick And Dirty Weeding: Do a quick run through and pick out big suckers that are sticking up out of your plants. Hope no one will notice the others. A must for when garden clubs, relatives and gardening friends come to visit. Your gardening friends will notice, but they probably won't say anything.
Suck It Up And Do It Anyway Weeding: Sometimes it just comes down to this. The right mood just hasn't struck and I have to get on with it. Reserved for desperate situations when the garden has gotten completely out of hand. At the end of the day I'll console myself by flopping on the couch with a beer and eat triscuits and cheese for dinner. That would cheer anyone up right?
This strategy works for me, and it's great therapy - cheap and to the point. After spending a day weeding,my garden looks better and I've either solved all my problems or I'm too tired to care anymore.
I think I've hit the main categories, but I'll bet some of you can add a few. I'd love to hear them!