Ask the Gardener: How to win the battle vs. goutweed
What to do this week Keep watering, following any restrictions in your municipality. Look around and learn to recognize when plants are begging for water with drooping, curling, or browning leaves, and prioritize watering those plants. Plant seeds of short-season vegetable crops that will thrive in the coming cool weather such as lettuce and radish as space becomes available in your garden. Water the soil before weeding or pulling out spent vegetable plants so the roots slip out easily with minimal soil disruption. Stop deadheading and fertilizing roses so the shrubs can prepare for dormancy.
Q. I have a large perennial bed that was overrun with goutweed when I was ill, and it also has deer ticks, as it borders a wooded area. I’d welcome your advice on how to eliminate the goutweed (and ticks) and also want to note that I have a vernal pool nearby. We care for our yard organically, using no herbicides and only biologic pesticides. Is this situation hopeless?
A. Goutweed quickly spreads underground, and trying to weed the white roots only breaks them off, with each piece growing a new plant. Most people spray goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) with glyphosate when it is in active growth in the spring after shuffling and walking on it to bruise the leaves so the sap is exposed. Since you are gardening organically, I would recommend just cutting all the garden top growth down to less than an inch in height and bagging it for your town’s composting collection. Next, cover the affected ground with impermeable plastic to solarize the roots and deprive them of sun and water. Extend the tarp 3 feet beyond the edge of the goutweed, use rocks or mulch or even potted plants to hold it down, and wait a year or two.
September 12, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.
The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).
SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan