I Take Back What I Said About Oxalis

I take it back, oh yes. I am eating my words. I was so busy gloating over my ‘win’ over oxalis in the vege garden that I did not notice its second assault. While my back was turned, the oxalis got organised, and launched a stealthy, mass attack on the front garden. I had diligently cleared out all the large grass weeds in the front; apparently just clearing the way for the oxalis attack. Then I found even more, lurking under the violets. This is no easy-to-dig-up-the-small-clumps matter – the soil is riddled with with the wee bulbs of terror. I can just about hear them laughing at me from here. I am beginning to understand the horror stories. I tried to pick them out of the soil but there are just too many! It was bad enough digging out the dock with the 40cm long tap root, the kikuyu grass, again spreading its underground runners all through the front garden, the violets, which have gone ridiculous and the other various weed mongrels. But the presence of these swarms of tiny bulbs managed to fill me with horror.

Oxalis (photo from nzgardener.co.nz).

Now I, too, am one of those people asking, “How do I kill it?” Perhaps I could use a sieve to capture the bulbs from scoops of soil, although I know this will not get them all. Some initial research shows that disturbing the soil should be avoided, unless you can get them all. Bit late for that now! Also, letting the bulbs produce leaves, then cutting them off or spraying them apparently uses up the bulbs’ energy, if you keep doing it long enough. I get the feeling some chemical warfare is in order. It sounds like this is going to be a very long war. If only I had an oxalis pig that would sniff out every last bulb, like a truffle, and eat it, killing it before it came out the other end. Now that would be a great solution!

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