Want to Learn About Garden Weeds?
If you'd like to learn more about those pesky garden weeds, Weeds of Canada and the Northern United States, by France Royer and Richard Dickinson (University of Alberta Press, 1999; $30), is an excellent resource. The book has photos and line drawings of 175 weed species at different stages of growth, and offers information on germination, plant fertility, and geographic distribution. There's also a set of quick-reference guides to seedlings, flowers, and invasive grasses, so if you're unsure of a weed's identity, you can take the guide outside and use it as a field reference. There's even a ruler printed on the back cover to help you measure plants accurately. I've found it to be exceptionally helpful in my quest to understand the enemy!
Clever Gardening Technique
Make Your Own Deer Repellent
In early spring, when new growth is especially tender and tasty to deer, or early fall when deer are foraging, I spray the perimeter of our garden with this homemade brew. It reminds the deer that our garden is out of bounds.
Here's the recipe:
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (you can substitute hot pepper sauce)
5 or 6 drops liquid hand soap
1 gallon water
Beat the egg yolks with a wire wisk until frothy, add the Tabasco (or hot pepper sauce) and pour into a gallon of warm water. Squirt the liquid soap into the mixture.
I use a small pressurized tank sprayer to apply this mixture to the bark of trees and shrubs and around the base of flowers and vegetables. The aroma alone will stop most deer, and a taste of treated foliage will send them on their way. Reapply after a heavy rainfall or as often as necessary.