The small section of lawn at the back of the rear garden has been lost to nutgrass, though the loss is not exactly heartbreaking since I hardly care at all about the lawn. Certainly, the nutgrass is green, and perhaps it’s better than crabgrass. The only downside I see is that both weedy grasses seed into the planting beds, so this has become a nuisance.
Crabgrass can be a bit of a pain to pull if it’s neglected for a few weeks as the stems root at every node. Nutgrass is more difficult to yank out, and if any root is left behind you have accomplished almost nothing. No doubt, there is some chemical marvel that will wipe out the nutgrass without killing the few blades of fescue that remain, but this area stays damp for long periods, so the weedy grass is likely to return no matter what I do. And, nutgrass grows dense, and very green, so in this back area it works out just fine as far as I’m concerned.
The fact is well established that I’m not a stickler for routine garden maintenance, but in recent weeks I’ve exerted a bit more effort to clean up weeds that were becoming more of a bother. The damp area in the rear garden has been a particular problem. Here, a long established witch hazel died, and until the chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) and sweetshrubs (Calycanthus floridus) grow to fill the now sunny space the weeds will be a pain. I expect these native shrubs to not only tolerate, but to thrive in this dampness, and perhaps it will take only a year or two until I’m questioning whether they were planted too closely.
To cover the damp ground beneath the shrubs I’ve planted Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’), which I’ve found is an inexact science. In the proper combination of just enough sun and adequate moisture it grows vigorously, but in too much sun, and a bit too dry, Creeping Jenny fades miserably by mid summer. But, so far, so good. There are no other low growing neighbors, so if Jenny really takes off, no harm will be done. The yellow can be a little too bright for my taste, but I’ll live with it if it grows well enough to dress the area up. On the downside, where it’s growing, it isn’t doing a thing to keep the weeds down, and whenever I pull a tuft of nutgrass a chunk of Creeping Jenny comes along with it.
If I live long enough, some day I’ll figure this thing out.