The Old Ways

One of our elderly neighbours died last week. He was 82 years old and had lived in this area his whole life. Until two years ago, when he had a stroke, he had been an active farmer and gardener. I had never got to know him very well but know his two sons and their families as they are our adjoining neighbours.
At his funeral the sons spoke of his love of hard work and gardening. I was delighted to hear that he believed that he could beat the cat heads and various other weeds by digging them out. His sons have progressed to doing this job with a boom spray and chemicals.
Cat heads are one of the biggest trials in my garden. A cat head is a ground covering weed that appears where nothing else grows. I guess its function is to help hold the soil in place. this would not be a bad thing except that they have a seed casing that is shaped like a cats head and has multiple hard and sharp spikes. When you tread on them they really hurt.

When we came here, because the soil was degraded and I guess the weeds had been heavily sprayed the cat heads were well in control. We always need to take our shoes off when coming inside so we don't bring dozens of the nastly things in!
We have various strategies for minimizing them, improving the soil, mulching them, smothering them, but the main thing is digging them out with my trusty little digger. Requiring much bending over, you cant just dig them with a hoe. When I visit the neighbors cat head free yards I sometimes yearn for a bit of chemical spray. So I was really happy to hear that the old way was to dig them out. thanks Gordie..I am cat headering with renewed vigor.
A barrow load of cat heads! My daily target.

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