The Speckled Butter Beans I planted in the front flower bed before we left for Texas are doing so well! I was so discouraged when I saw the bed when we got back because it looked like I had missed scores of nut sedge roots, but most of the “grass” is actually seeds sprouting in the straw. I’m not worried about that at all. Fortunately once you get close it’s easy to tell the difference between the wheat sprouts and the nut sedge, and I’ve been attacking the bed every few days to pull all the nut sedge I see.
This is why landscape fabric is a bad idea, people. See those little hairballs? Those are nut sedge roots. There are scores of them growing right through the landscape fabric we pulled off the beds. When we pulled out the landscape fabric I couldn’t bear to just throw it all away so we just piled it up in the driveway. Over the weekend we spread it all out to sun-bake and see what could be salvaged. Unfortunately all of it looks like this, riddled with nut sedge and betony roots. We shook out the dirt, spread it out in layers, rolled it all up like a sleeping bag, and Jim took the whole roll to the dumpster.
I also spent several hours weeding the recovering roses. My hands will recover too at some point, I’m sure. The combination of disturbed ground and a liberal application of rose fertilizer and composted cow manure has made the nut sedge grow like mad, but the soil is nice and loose and they’re coming out easily. I wish I had taken some “before” pictures, but I’ll definitely take some “after” pictures once I get a little further. I think a good 3-4 weeks of successive weeding passes and that bed will be ready for 6″ of mulch and a break.