As someone with a horticulture degree, I understand that weeds are just a part of gardening. They come up every year, whether they are wanted or not. Their presence mars the lawn and they compete for water and space in my vegetable beds. Each week, weeding appears on the list of regular yard/garden maintenance. But by mid to late summer, my tolerance for weeds wears thin. Using hand tools, pulling by hand, and even the application of herbicide grade acetic acid knocks the weeds back, but more come back to replace the troops lost in the previous week’s battle.
As a horticulturist, my lawn and my garden are my pride. The presence of weeds seems to poke fun at my degree, patience, and ability to maintain my own property. I do have moments where I want to throw my hands in the air and scream ARGH! But when all seems lost, there is another solution… hiring someone to do the weeding. Ack! I know that seems like heresy, but trust me… sometimes it is good for your sanity. Folks, it is time for another true confession.
This year for the first time, I have hired someone to come in and do some weeding. While in years past, I have always done this task myself, this year’s abundant rainfall has made weeding seem like an impossible task. Sure, there are chemicals on the market, such as RoundUp, but I garden sustainably and organically.
The biggest issue for me was to simply let go of my ego and acknowledge that I needed help. This has been the weediest year in quite some time according to my fellow horticulturists. It was time to bring in reinforcements. And in all honesty, I just needed a break from the weekly weeding sessions.
I called in a well-respected horticulturist who does garden maintenance. He has done some of the larger pruning jobs that were beyond my skill level (and step-ladder height) in the past and the quality of his work was wonderful. But this time, I sheepishly walked the property with him, I pointed out the areas of shame. To his credit, he just nodded and didn’t scold me for not keeping up on the weeds.
For me, the benefits of hiring a crew to weed were:
- A crew could weed in an hour what would take me most of the day to do.
- The weeds are taken away by the crew and do not end up in my compost pile.
- They take the drudgery out of my least favorite garden chore.
- A garden service company frees up my time to focus on other garden chores (such as planting and harvesting).
- Sanity. My own, personal sanity.
Gardening should be a pleasurable experience. The aroma of flowers in bloom. Ripe fruit on the vine. Spicey herbs wafting their fragrance. Harvesting vegetables at just the right moment. Preserving extra produce to enjoy during the fall and winter months. But I have to admit, weeding is not my favorite task. Hiring a garden service company does not mean that I am a lesser person or that my degree is tarnished. It simply means that I know when to say when… and that is my true confession.