4 Things About Life & Gardening & Enemy #1: Yellow Sorrel

FREAKY FRIDAY: A Break from the Usual, A Taste of the Wild and Wooly

I loved the movie “Freaky Friday”. And I needed a name for posts that didn’t fit under my more typical categories (“Easy Recipes”, “Healthy Eating”, etc.). I decided I could post them on Fridays, under the heading, “Freaky Friday”. Whoo hoo!

Too much oxalis in raised beds

Today’s story is about gardening. I’ve been having a problem with yellow sorrel. (Also known as sour grass, of the oxalis family.) It’s a pernicious weed with tiny bulblets; even when you pull up the plant, the bulblets usually remain. And they quickly repopulate your garden. Grrr.

I researched for several years, hoping for an easy solution. (I thought a simple soil supplement that amended the acid/alkaline ratio might help, or perhaps some other organic solution.) Alas, no easy fix. I finally implemented the best solution I could find, which was to cover the weeded surface with cardboard, then top with bark (you can also top with fresh soil).

At least we have an endless supply of New Deli cardboard, and it’s biodegradable, so it will serve as a mulch, but eventually break down. All the while, serving to keep those sorrel plants from repopulating. And I’m encouraged, as the yard is now covered with a few hearty perrenials, topped with wood chips. No sorrel!

I was even able to call my tree guy and get free wood chips- a whole truckload got dumped out front. Awesome!

Grateful-Table-Garden-View-of-Forget-Me-NotsBut I took a look at an older garden picture from a few years back. The Pre-Sorrel Period. Wow- it was beautiful! An abundance of other aggressive ground covers had taken over: Forget-me-nots, and some other daisy-type ground cover.

I might not have fully appreciated that yard at that point. I might have taken those aggressive (but beautiful) volunteer Forget-me-nots for granted. But now that I’ve wrestled with yellow sorrel, I have a new appreciation for this yard!

I’m hoping to learn a few things here:

1.) Treat yellow sorrel as a serious enemy, to be defeated at first sight.

2.) Be really grateful when your garden (or life) is not inundated with weeds (or other pains).

3.) Take nothing for granted. Not even a simple volunteer “weed” like Forget-me-nots.

4.) Sometimes a simple thing (like Forget-me-nots), that is eagerly taking up space, is keeping out something evil (like sorrel).

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