Their delicate white flowers are some of the earliest of our spring display. In a blink, they transform into a tall spindle of seed pods. Even when I gently brush against them they explode like fireworks casting their spell across the warming spring soil. Fortunately, I wear glasses. The little missiles splatter my face but they don’t blind me. I flinch in surprise every time.
In just a couple of weeks, the ground will magically transform into a carpet of them happily taking over the world.
In an unfamiliar garden, it makes sense to let all plants grow until you identify them or they show their true intent. Then decide their fates.
These little monsters are Hairy Bittercrest (aka Cardimine hirsuta). They’re annuals – seed factories. The best defense is easy –
NEVER LET THEM GO TO SEED!
The straightforward action might be to get out there & weed like crazy.
- Yes, that helps + it’s good anti-Seasonal-Affects- Disorder therapy.
- Yes, it removes the offending seed creator, but many of last year’s seeds are still on the ground getting ready to sprout … just more weeding for tomorrow!
- AND pulling out the weed stirs up the soil as far down as its roots went. That brings up the weed seeds from years gone by… even more weeding for tomorrow and the day after that!
There’s a better way.
Each winter I lay down 2-4 inches of fish & bark mulch.
2 to 4 inches.
It buries any seeds deep enough that they won’t get enough light to start growing.
If you’ve already mulched, the problem’s solved before it’s even begun. 🙂