The War on Pernicious Snit

Sunday, April 20, 2008
My Smart Man and I have owned this house for 6 years. Actually, the mortgage company owns this house and graciously allows us to live here, but you know what I mean.

It was the first house either of us had owned, and one of the things I was looking forward to when we bought it was the opportunity to have flower beds.

We closed in February, and the following fall, I was out there digging up the flower beds, removing the plants the previous owner had selected in favor of the ones I preferred. The following spring, I anxiously awaited the flowers.

The flowers came, and bloomed, but it appeared I had missed a root or two of one of the annuals selected by the previous owners. And apparently, missing one root of this stuff is a sufficient foothold for it to take over the entire flower bed.

For the last 5 summers, I have done battle with what I dubbed "The Pernicious Snit." Every spring, I pull and tear and rip it up by the roots, and by the fall, it has completely taken over the entire flower bed.

Yes, I realize that if I pulled it up periodically during the summer it wouldn't be as bad each spring. But Pernicious Snit flowers in the fall, and it's nice to have fall flowers, even if all I do is glare at them from the balcony.

So I guess my battle against Pernicious Snit is really more of a war of attrition. Every spring I win, and every fall the Snit wins.

I have since learned this tenacious piece of crap is actually called Verbascum bombyciferum or 'Arctic Summer,' but it will always be Pernicious Snit to me.
::Shakes Fist Angrily in the Direction of the Snit::

10 comments:

Nathan said...

We have what we call "bad plant". If you miss even a tiny piece of root, it sprouts again. And the roots send out runners. If you just ignore it, it sprouts to bamboo sized growth.

It laughs at Roundup!

Janiece Murphy said...

Yeah, the Pernicious Snit sends out runners, too.

Dratted Plant!

Steve Buchheit said...

Ortho "Brush-B-Gone," that stuff will kill trees (well, were you spray them). Clear out as much as you can, but clip some of it and paint the BBG on the stalk. Might work. Heck, BBG is the only thing I've found that will kill off the poison ivy (short of boiling a whole bunch of water, or dumping vinegar everywhere).

Michelle K said...

Short of using toxic chemicals, you can put down landscape cloth, cover with soil, and then plant what you want.

Although really, one year of pulling up the plant as soon as it appears will take care of the problem.

We had a "tree of heaven" infestation when we bought this house, and it was a nightmare to deal with. It spreads by the roots, so when you pulled it up from one place, it pops up somewhere else. Fortunately, a year of pulling it whenever we saw it pop up as enough to kill it off permanently.

Then we just had to dig out the #&$#@! stumps.

But it was worth the effort, because I now have a lilac there that's lovely, as well as a gorgeous broom, and the plant whose name I cannot remember.

So if you're willing to fight to win for just one year, you can conquer. Because I guarantee pernicious snit can't be worse than the damned tree of heaven.

Anne C. said...

I was weeding this morning too. I have a blasted weed too (actually, I have more weeds than grass). There's the dandilions. There's the wild geraniums. And then there's the stuff that I don't have a name for. It's fluffy looking at first, but when you touch it, you realize it's actually prickly. It's got tiny blue flowers. Last year, I let it go because it's pretty and green and my grass isn't great. Then, it got leggy and less fluffy and more prickly. Pretty much ugly. So, this year, I'm getting it before it gets insidious.

kimby said...

I have the same battle with tulips and roses of Sharron. For the last 4 years i have pulled and dug up what i thought was the last of them, and yet...they still bloom! Last summer i ended up pouring gas on one of the roses...and yet...this weekend i noticed that there was something starting to grow in the spot where i poured AND dug.

I give up.

vince said...

I live in an apartment, where all the plants are under total control, and the outside world is NOT allowed. Occasional transplanting, watering and feeding is all that I need to do.

::leaves, cackling evilly::

Jim Wright said...

I have the perfect solution.

Yesterday evening three organic weed machines completely cleared out my flower beds, converting the sprouting plants (every single one of them) into steaming piles of organic fertilizer. They're commonly called "Moose," in this case a pregnant cow and two yearling males.

Then they also stripped all the bark off the pussywillow in my front yard.

They're going to look real good wrapped in little wax paper packages in my freezer, just saying.

Michelle K said...

Jim, are you really allowed to transport moose across state lines?

Janiece Murphy said...

I'll try and make an effort to get after it a couple times this summer. We'll see.

Otherwise, I may import a moose.