Houzz Logo Print

3/9/09 Question of the week.

(sorry, am a day late this week)

Do you have a garden thug, or multiple garden thugs?

This might be something you have planted yourself only to find it will not stay where you put it as it has reseeded everywhere, or outgrown its bounds, threatening other more prized plants. It also might be something that came with the property, or that Ma Nature has brought to your property.

My biggest thug is the Ornithogalum umbellatum (aka Star-of-Bethlehem aka sob, aka flower from hell!)

The pic in the lower right hand corner (of the link at the very bottom of the post) shows what most of my property looks like before the nasty little bulbs are dug out. Each spring I spend the majority of my time from late Feb when the soil first thaws, until late May when the foliage can barely be seen, digging out the nasty things. While most gardeners are enjoying all of their spring time chores of cleaning up flower beds, planting, maybe moving things, I am on my hands and knees digging out s.o.b. so I can make a new bed area, or expand an existing bed. I refuse to plant anything in the bulb infested soil, so I have rows and rows of plants in the veggie garden area waiting for a permanent spot somewhere once I have a clean s.o.b. free spot cleared for them.

S.o.B. problems in no-till fields in southern Indiana It is hard to believe that something that was introduced here could have multiplied as it has. It is not native to North or South America, though it is native in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

It looks like today will be a good s.o.b. digging day with warm temps, and little wind, before it turns off colder (43) for Wed ad Thurs.

So, that is my 'main' thug here. What is/are your thug/thugs?

btw...I have numerous other thugs, but at this time of the year, I am just obsessed with the s.o.b.

I used to list the Star of Bethlehem on my trade list, but I have since removed it, never ever wanting to spread it into an area, or state where it is not already a problem. I can't even buy a load of topsoil without the high risk of it being infested with the bulbs. Some are as small as the lead in a #2 pencil, so they are not easily seen in the soil once they go dormant and lose their foliage color. There is nothing available to the homeowner that will kill them. Smothering them is not much of an option either. They pushed up through the edge of the blacktopped drive after it was blacktopped the previous fall. They came up through 12" of mulch around the edges of big tree trimmer mulch piles.

End of rant. I hope no one else has a challenge as bad as mine, but would love to hear the challenges others face, big or small.

Sue...gearing up to go out and dig s.o.b. for most of the day.

Here is a link that might be useful: Star-of-Bethlehem: Ornithogalum umbellatum

Comments (44)