Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Hey, Old Town: Pick a Spot — And Weed!

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Hey, Old Town: Pick a Spot — And Weed!

We are all doing things during this cautionary time that we never thought we’d be doing, from taking on critical roles such as teachers to our kids at home, to treating ourselves to the simple joys of DIY pedicures and baking bread for the first time.

However, Mother Nature — the one constant during any crisis — continues on.

Which means the weeds continue to grow, grow, grow. Take a look around your neighborhood — you’ll see them. Tree wells are full of them; they creep up the fronts of buildings while spreading across the sidewalk below.

As an avid gardener, I know that weeds deplete soil; they spread like wildfire; and once settled in, they can become invasive to the point where it seems the only solution is chemical warfare, which should be avoided at all costs. I ask that before we get there — and to keep our city looking its best until the day when venturing out doesn’t incite panic — pick a spot or two, grab a pair of gardening gloves and a trash bag (since the city is not currently picking up yard waste), and WEED. (And, for me, there comes a great sense of accomplishment and instant gratification from weeding, making it a de-stressor we could all benefit from right now.)

For those not used to weeding, it’s best done after a rain shower when the soil is moist. Pull at the base to get as much of the root as possible. Try to avoid shaking the weed when pulling to prevent spreading the seeds. If you’re not sure if something’s a weed, ask a gardening friend or Google it — odds are, it is.

It’s even possible to social distance with friends or neighbors and pull weeds at many locations around the city — take a look at our schools, parks, and treasured historical sites, and see how weeds add to the look of abandonment and despair, which extra sets of hands could easily change.

So please, on your next walk, look for a spot and go for it. The city needs it now more than ever, and we all stand to be rewarded by your efforts.

Ivy Whitlatch

Alexandria Gardener