This is my front yard with the winter cover crops in bloom. There are a few poppies that always reseed and show up in the spring as well. It is time to cut it all down for summer crops and flowers but it is always hard to do. It is a bit wild and untamed, but neighbors always comment on how nice the “garden” looks, which makes me laugh since it is just a cover crop planted for utilitarian reasons, but it certainly makes the pollinators happy.
Here’s a pic of the sunniest spot of my property that I planted in Creeping St. John’s wort when I first moved here as it was too remote to water and I wanted something to combat my neighbor’s weeds that tend to blow seeds my direction. At first it seemed a good choice as it did not need any care or watering on this dry area and it plus honey suckle covered the ugly utility box very well. After about 10 years I noticed that I needed to install a subsoil border to limit the Creeping St. John’s wort’s aggression. That did not work as the roots simply went under my border. Plus it’s was seeding profusely so I had to cut off all seed heads right after flowering to prevent spreading to neighbors. It seemed this ground cover, albeit beautiful, was just too much work to contain! Finally two years ago the family decided we would rather have a fig tree occupying this sunny corner since it’s the most sun exposed area we have. So I decided to kill it with Roundup. I thought it would be gone forever! Guess what! It proved to need numerous treatments and in spite of dieback, the spring of 2022 saw numerous roots that were not killed completely. So this time I went in with pick and shovel digging down about 2-3’ in most places pulling out suspect roots. Living on a glacial moraine, this was no easy job as the hardpan and rock were sealed like concrete. But I chipped away over the entire summer digging out those roots. I could not get too close to the utility box with digging for fear of damaging the phone lines or the power cables buried below, so again I watched all summer as the remaining few St. John’s wort roots began to grow new vegetation. Each time they grew foliage, I would paint them with a roundup treatment to avoid killing my honeysuckle cover. After I had dug up the majority of this 20’ triangular area, I decided that the soil needed improvement so I sowed it in crimsom clover! I plan to let the clover grow a full season this year, and harvest the majority of seeds so that once I have the Creeping St. John’s wort killed off completely with a full growing season and none reappearing, I will refill the site, add compost and place our new fig trees in pot with the bottoms cut out. Then I will reseed the site with crimsom clover to feed my fig trees. In the lower left corner of the pic you can see where I could not dig and some honeysuckle still thrives. But as of today I believe I am near the end of using Roundup! So I am hoping that by next spring there is no Creeping St. John’s wort growing here so we can complete our plans for use of this site. Meanwhile we will enjoy the new clover bloom!