It’s been a wonderful weekend for gardening. There were reports of lots of rain, wind and hail, but fortunately, we only got a shower which watered the pastures and the gardens.
My hope was to get the dahlia garden planted, but before I did that I wanted to try to prevent the pokeweed, which is taking over the barnyard, from growing.
Pokeweed is a native perennial that has many uses. The berries attract birds, butterflies and bees, and can be used for dying fabric. But is toxic to sheep.
As far as I can tell, my sheep have always kept their distance from it. But last year I noticed some of their wool was stained purple with berry juice (Pokeweed is also known as Inkberry because the juice from the berries was also used to make ink.)
So I decided that this year I would do my best to stop the pokeweed from growing.
It’s not an easy thing to do without using a chemical like Roundup. Last year I tried to keep up with them by cutting them down. But they grew too fast. In the fall I tried digging some up, but the stems and roots are thick and deep.
So yesterday I covered the area where the pokeweed grows with black plastic sheeting. I don’t know if it will work, but I imagine it will at least kill off some of the plants or keep them from spreading.
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to deter the pokeweed from growing for a few years, but after Pumpkin died last fall, I got more serious about it. I don’t know if it had anything to do with Pumpkin dying but I don’t want it to tempt them either.
Luckily there are plenty of rocks from the old barn foundation right where the pokeweed grows so I was able to use them to hold down the plastic.
I’ll let you know if it works.