From this space, roughly five feet wide by six feet deep . . . . . . I dug out all these dock roots (that’s a 15-inch ruler) . . . plus this wagon full of rocks . . .plus these additional weed roots, mostly goldenrod
This time of year, when the soil is saturated from snowmelt and spring rain, is the only time I have any hope of extracting dock roots in something close to their entirety. They put dandelion roots to shame in terms of length and sheer tenacity. I have seen dandelion roots as long, but they are usually growing in good soil and are easier to pull, assuming, of course, that you have loosened the soil with a garden fork first. That’s why dandelions get their difficult reputation, I’m convinced–because people are trying to pull them out of the lawn without disturbing the surrounding sod. I always loosen the soil around a tap-rooted weed with the fork first, and I grasp it below the crown. If it doesn’t come out with a slow but steady pull, I move more dirt away from it and have another go with the fork.
I didn’t really give this area a thorough digging. I just raked the leaves from one spot, dug up all the dock I could find, and then repeated the process until I had gone over the whole area. I’m sure I missed some, and I know there’s more goldenrod. Just after I finished, the UPS man pulled up, quite late for him, and handed me my Fedco shrub order, which has the hydrangea in it, as well as 5 winterberries.