Some of the spreading ground cover-y-looking plants were still nearly flush with the dirt but they didn’t fool me anymore: I now knew their seeds are velcro spiked with a sharp blade each (see picture) and the taproot runs amazingly deep even at that stage.
Carefully find your way under the entire circle of leaves to as close to the base as you can–it grows runners and from one plant to the next, the leaves can be like felted wool together and hard to separate. But you can’t leave any leaves out–you have to be under all of them.
And then pull as hard as you can. A spade might not get it all.
That taproot will be anything from a few inches long to well over a foot but sometimes you can unroll a whole mass of interlocking plants that put too much into the spreading and not enough into the rooting and take a whole group roots and all.
I thought, I bet a raccoon would kill for these: a feast with all the work done, as I looked at a particularly thick 15″er. Potato tartare. No way could I leave this stuff out for even one night, and I packed those weeds down hard, several paper grocery bags’ worth. Out onto the curb.
My back is sore, but the thought that kept me going was picturing Madison crawling across what used to be grass before our drought began.
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