Flash Fiction 2nd Place: Lessons in Weeding by Jamie D Stacey
This will take time
Every square inch of your garden contains seeds for weeds. Some gardeners are just lucky and always have a perfect lawn. Others, especially those with excess clogging of their lawn, can become bogged down by local eruptions that can spiral out of control. It can certainly undermine the self-confidence of any young gardener, and the image of a garden in midst of a breakout can be problematic even at the best of times (re: friends, dates, this isn’t supposed to happen when you become an adult).
Plucking and Pruning
Simply pulling the weeds out before they have time to properly grow is recommended in the first instance. This has the advantage of precision and minimal scarring, but it does require some stamina and can be a tedious job. Useful quick fix before any presentation and social interactions (re: ten minutes before he arrives).
Digging and Mulching
Grab some oversized gardener’s tweezers for some extra force; this allows you to go for those deeper roots. Sometimes a lawn needs a thorough exfoliation of its skin in order to shed its spots. Can be painful and is liable to scar (re: need to think ahead).
Suffocation is a useful option. Deprive the buggers of sunlight and oxygen by placing some old carpet cut-outs, or some newspapers, or just about anything that can cover an unsightly garden face. Acts like a foundation and is relatively cheap and quick (re: useful for prolonged family visits or bringing him back home).
Sodium chloride, or it’s more friendly term, salt, can be an effective treatment. Apply directly to unsightly visitors as it has a detrimental effect on soil. Enjoys historical notoriety for laying waste to conquered lands (re: Carthage and Rome, the Dark Ages…). Vinegar can also be considered. Apply lavishly to spots of weeds. May be irritable; avoid contact with eyes. For best results, combine the two and season them generously like chips (re: don’t invite friends around).
Warning: may cause permanent scarring of lawn and gardener’s self-confidence, only use when desperate. Apply diluted bleach directly onto unattractive buggers and boils. Do not apply to grass or anything else you want to keep. If concerned, you may opt for vodka first; known to have some effect on weed removal and almost always boosts gardener’s self-confidence. Use sparingly, and generally not in the presence of others (re: intoxication, saying the wrong thing to just about anyone).
Warning: causes permanent scarring over a wide surface area, may also be some collateral damage (re: friends and family may no longer recognise your lawn. Extreme caution is urged).
When everything else fails (re: before you try any of the above)
Some lawns have weeds. Some lawns have weeds no matter what you do. And remember, sometimes ‘weeds’ in gardens look just fine and no-one will judge you for it (re: And if he does? Maybe he’s not worth it. Look at the lawn, in the mirror — and smile at nature’s graffiti).