It never ceases to amaze me during these hot and dry Texas summers just how adaptable and tough weeds are.  Temperatures over 100 degrees, no rain for over a month, and the weeds are lookin’ good!

Adaptability is what weeds are all about.  Just like all other living things, weeds adapt to environmental conditions in order to ensure their survival.  And in the very worst of times the actual weed may disappear but the weed seeds may be hiding out in the ground, waiting for optimal conditions to come their way.

Have you ever noticed a large, natural, undisturbed area that was relatively weed-free and left alone to do its own thing?  Many times these areas are wildscapes… little or nothing has been done to alter nature’s course.  There may be wildflowers and trees native to the area that provide food and shelter for wildlife.  Then, here comes “progress” in the form of surveying and heavy equipment moving in to transform the natural, wildscape area into an apartment complex, large store, or parking lot.  Once the heavy equipment begins to tear up the ground here come the weeds, some of them 4-5 feet high.  The disturbance to the natural order of soil layering and a bit of rain will bring all those dormant weed seeds to life, many of them waiting years for just the right conditions.

The same thing happens when someone decides to plant a garden then goes gung-ho at the ground with a rototiller.   A nice, relatively weed-free grassy area has the soil turned topsy-turvy, bringing all those dormant weed seeds near the surface where warm sunlight and adequate moisture provide just the right elements to ensure sprouting.  And the gardener’s weed nightmare begins.

Nature has a way of soil layering that is right and as it should be.  We think we can do it better.  Think again.


Wild, undisturbed meadow with native wildflowers

arlington sign

An apartment complex will soon be built. Notice the tall weeds.

mccommas before 1

McCommas Bluff Nature Preserve in Dallas, Texas on April 19, 2014

mccommas after 1

The same picture view as above, taken on February 8, 2015. I wonder what this mess looks like after the weed seeds germinated and took hold?

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