Pruning Social ‘weeds’

A couple of days ago, I was forced to point out during an interview (at my own risk) the subtlety of my hyperactive mind when I mentioned that I once cracked a code from innocently and graciously sent recharge card digits! Talk about unbridled and un-channeled energy.

But this happened during my NYSC days so … it’s his-story! Anyways, I was (as usual) restless a couple of days ago and I decided to read an article in Encarta. Kindly see below my deductions from a harmless agricultural piece on weed! Yes! Weed …


Weed, term applied to any plant that grows where it is not wanted. (Equate weed for unwanted people and or relationships so you can follow this argument). A weed is usually characterized by rapid growth, and it typically replaces other, more desirable plants. (This is my grouse! You’re unwanted, why displace or rather replace the ‘wanted’ ones?)

Some plants, such as crabgrass, are considered weeds everywhere they grow, but many plants are considered weeds in some regions and not in others. (Which explains why some people are ‘rejected’ by some people in some places but are ‘accepted’ by some other people in some other places). For example, the shrub lantana is raised as an ornamental plant in many parts of the United States, but has become a serious pest in Hawaii. (Point! Who or what is ‘Weed’ to Mee is an ornament to another and vice versa. Case closed!)

Although most weeds damage cultivated plants by competing (it’s bad and sad enough that you’re a nuisance, why damage a budding plant? Why compete) with them for sunlight, water, and mineral nutrients (my required and necessary undivided attention), some weeds are parasites that grow directly on other plants, and thus either weaken or kill them (sometimes, it’s not the fault of budding relationships that they wither and die, blame it on the weeds ***sigh).

Many weeds are also hosts for disease-causing organisms (this is a great cause for alarm, heeelllppppp I don’t want you, don’t gimme a disease joorrrr). For example, some of the fungal diseases that infect food crops spend part of their life cycle on a weed that typically grows near the crop (typically grows near the crop? sad sad they’re always around, and sometimes with fungi too … ***sigh).

Although generally harmful or undesirable (generalizations, whilst capturing the similarities, obscure the differences – weeds are not so useless cos), weeds can also provide benefits for agriculture (everyone, every weed I mean, can be useful – either as a driver, a chef, a meal ticket, a maga, a great source of inspiration. Usually though, from my ‘personal’ experience from weeds, WYSIWYG).

Some weeds may provide a source of food (food here can mean anything actually, WYSIWYG again e.g. maga and whatever he stands for or rather, whatever he provides). In addition to their agricultural uses (did someone just ask why I use weeds? They have agricultural USEs), many weeds, such as tansy, chicory, and smartweed, have medicinal properties (whatever medicinal stands for – balm, soothe, calm, maybe) and are used extensively in homeopathic and naturopathic medicine (admit it, you know this already by NOW – I need (homeopathic and naturopathic) help!).


Weeds, like many plants, are usually divided into three categories: annuals, biennials, and perennials. This division is based on how long a single generation lives (or is allowed to live). Annuals complete an entire life cycle in one growing season (well, some are faster than others when it comes to ‘catching’ ‘up’ – growing up or out of love, out of season I mean). They germinate, flower, and fruit between the spring and winter of the same year (pretty fast init). The seeds, (seeds – emotional ties, soul ties, smts real seeds) however, may live buried in the soil as long as 70 years (the major problem with serial dating and sleeping, err…slipping mybad, slipping!).

Repeated plowing and cultivating may be necessary to control annual weeds (don’t just keep planting seeds, prune the weeds … repeatedly? *** sob sob, this sounds like a lotta work).

Biennials live through two growing seasons, producing only greenery the first year, and bearing flowers and fruits in the second (they don’t show their true color on time – second year? Well, a year could mean anything, for instance one man-year is seven dog-years).

Perennial weeds are often the most troublesome weeds to control because they have strong, well-developed underground parts and produce large numbers of seeds (heavy sigh, did anyone just say I should tolerate these weeds? Not on my life, see the consequences?). Perennials live for at least three years, flowering and producing fruit each year after reaching maturity (wart?!?)

III METHODS OF CONTROL (hope at last!)

There are various methods of weed control, ranging from simple pulling-by-hand (yeah baby, nip ’em in the bud, strike while the iron is hot. Trust Mee this option is much preferred) to elaborate chemical weed killers (chemicals hmmn, now that’s tempting but …). Generally, more than one method is necessary (and the synonyms of necessary are compulsory, obligatory, essential, required) because of the resilience of the weed plant or its seeds (see that? ‘The resilience of the weed or its seeds… They live among us and also reproduce’).

Pulling weeds by hand is effective (bingo!), but it should be done only when the soil is moist (there is a time for every activity although a matter weighs heavily upon a man – and here’s why) so that the underground roots are removed along with the tops (total annihilation). Although tiresome and time-consuming (yeah, that’s what WORK is – tiresome and time-consuming but), hand weeding is the most effective control for weeds growing in rock gardens or between rows in vegetable gardens (the rewards far outweigh the costs).

Removing weeds using a hoe (third party) is effective, but only when weeds are not well established and the weather is dry (God is the only 3rd party in a ‘growth’ that can make it work. But we’re talking about making it not-work here arnt we?what am I thinking? ). In moist weather many weeds revive after hoeing and continue growing (you just gat to DIY – Do It Yourself – mehn). Repeated hoeing at regular intervals is the best direct approach for hoe weeding the home garden in moist conditions (Who wants to repeatedly ‘hoe’?!? I want a LIFE!).

Another effective (goody, effective?!!) method of weed control is mulching, which consists of applying a layer of leaves, straw, or other organic mulching material over the weeds (by being evasive or just blanking them out? Maybe). Mulching prevents weeds from germinating and growing and adds nutrients to the soil (goodie goodie, silence doesn’t always mean consent). For shallow-rooted plants (people who are not worth the effort), such as azaleas, blueberries, and rhododendrons, mulching is necessary because hoeing injures their root systems (be nice, don’t damage their (very weak/shallow) self esteem).

Ok enough theory on weeds and tips on removing them now, I need to go do some practical on my field!

Body of article culled from Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. (Everything in Parenthesis MINE). All rights reserved.

(c) June 2010

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