by Leslie Cox; Saturday; January 4, 2020
While on our Sadie-walk in Miracle Beach Provincial Park yesterday, I spotted some clumps of snap weed, Cardamine hirsuta, poking through the moss-covered forest floor. Also known as hairy bittercress, this is definitely one weed you do not want establishing itself in your garden. Especially since its seed dispersal mechanism is so phenomenal.
When ripe, the seed pods literally explode from their stalk at the slightest touch. This has the effect of scattering the tiny seeds quite a respectable distance from the parent plant for such a small plant (roughly 15 cm, or 6 inches, tall). And, with a possible two flowering periods in a single year, depending on your zone, it does not take long for this weed to spread throughout a garden bed. And beyond into the next bed…and the next.
Now this is where I have a wee problem. Pretty much all of my garden beds are still heavily mulched with leaves. We just had 5 cm (2 inches) of snow on January 2nd which means I will not be removing the leaf mulch any time soon. I fear we may have a repeat of the incredible snowfalls we had last February which carried on into the second week of March. And cold!
So, with almost eleven weeks of winter left in the gardening calendar, I will just have to cross my fingers any Cardamine hirsuta I may have in my garden will not go to flower under all those leaves!