While I still question planting veggies, being leery of a late frost, sure it's been warm the last three days but still...

Well, the dandelions are in bloom. Spent an hour or so with the weeder in the parking strip and backyard until my back told me, "Enough already!".

Dandelions have weird tap roots. Sometimes long and thin, sometimes not so long, thicker around, and split, like funky carrots. On the parking strip they tend to head straight down, but in the yard some turned about an inch down and ran along under the surface for a foot+ until they suddenly dove down. Difference in soil is my guess, not as compacted in the backyard.

I'd have had better success if I had started weeding several days ago, the ground is still moist but not as wet as it had been, the roots had more resistance than they would have had earlier, so while some of them yielded long sections of tap root, others snapped off an inch down, far too close to the surface, good odds they'll come back to haunt me.

Lot of dandelions, given I haven't done any weeding before and it's years since mom worked on the parking strip in regard to weeds, so I have something to look forward to for a while. They've been settling in for years, roots growing longer each year, getting smug and complaisant. But their golden age is coming to a close, I and my trusty weeder will take them out, slowly but surely.

I find it amusing, Lee Valley and Garrett Wade sell this tool, which they call 'Grandpa's weeder', telling how it had been a Pacific Northwest standby before the Second World War; you see, this is my grandfather's weeder, I replaced the handle and oiled the hinge, it's good as new. I used it as a kid to pull dandelions in Salem, without the success I'm now having, something about weeding at the wrong time of the year, you don't try to pull dandelions when the ground is dry and hard packed, just won't work, you do it in the early spring and early winter, when the ground is moist and pliable, get it done then and you won't have problems with them in the summer. You do your major weeding when you don't have crops in, as part of your prep work, so you only have to do maintenance weeding during the summer, when you go after the new weeds before they get the mondo tap roots. At least that's my theory, and we'll see how it goes. I may be full of it, after all; it's happened before that I didn't know what I was talking about, it'll happen again, sure as can be.

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