I finally purchased chemicals for my weed problem, which is rather a big deal, not unlike losing one’s virginity.  First, I went to the nursery and found this organic clove oil- vinegar compound, which technically is not a nasty chemical, but still, who wants clove oil and vinegar in your eyes?  And if you’re some little microbe in the soil, it has to be horrible to get doused in that stuff. 

I felt kind of awkward because it was in with the super nasty stuff like “moss-be-gone” (By the way, who would want the moss to be gone?  I never understood that.  People want something low and green to cover their yard, but if something low and green comes in on its own, it must be killed?), and the guy who worked in the store was helping a man who acted like he thought all plants were bad and wanted to kill everything in his yard, and the guy working there didn’t look like he liked that plant-hater guy at all. 

Anyway, I was strangely worried that it would seem like these were my people, and especially since I had to kind of scoot in front of them to grab the large jug off the shelf, giving the appearance that we were sort of mingling.  When I grabbed the jug, I accidentally dropped it, causing me to yelp just a tiny bit, because the very same thing happened the other day at the grocery store, and it went like this:  I hurriedly grabbed the large jug of laundry detergent, and dropped it, causing the plastic cap to split, and allowing a dinner-plate sized puddle of soap to ooze onto the floor.  I went to the front of the store, the way you do, and said, oh, I’m so sorry, I broke this.  And the clerk, the one who’s been there forever who’s name starts with C. just looked up and said, “goddamn you!”  Which I sort of liked, because it was pretty honest compared that phony, “oh, no problem” response.  Then she just tagged some random 12 year old kid who was in line with his mom and tossed him some paper towels and asked him to go clean up the mess.  The kid gave me a kind of eye-rolling dirty look, but went and cleaned it up. 

So I was thinking about that when this big 2 gallon jug of clove oil dropped.  Fortunately it didn’t break, but the woman who was ringing stuff up said, wow, what was that about?  I told her, in the briefest way possible that I was afraid it would be a tiny little Bhopal-ish thing right there in the store, and she, strangely enough, said, “oh, you didn’t yelp because you were afraid we’d laugh at you?”

That doesn’t seem right, does it?

At any rate, I brought it home, and sprayed a little test area on Saturday, and nothing seems to be happening, except for it smells kind of like Christmas.  I re-sprayed today, thinking maybe I didn’t douse it enough, but seriously, if I have to go through all that, pay money, and spray twice, I’d rather just pull it, especially since it’s become one of my top three obsessions.  I dunno.


  1. Now that your garden smells like Christmas, it will be more fun to work in, right??

    You see, at permies.com I read this trick for getting rid of bindweed, aka morning glory, and thistles, weeds of comparable intense, stubborn vigor as yours. Here's what Paul Wheaton recommended:

    "Break your lawn into ten zones, numbered 1 to 10. One day, go an pull all the bindweed and thistle from zone 1. You might think that on the second day you will go and pull the bindweed and thistles from zone 2, but you would be wrong. Go and pull them from zone 1 again. It should go much faster because you did such a thorough job yesterday. THEN go to zone 2. On day three, pull the thistle and bindweed from zone 1, then zone 2 and then zone 3. ..... I've done this and it does work. 100%."

  2. Oh, but hey, what are the other two top obsessions?! Here's hoping you write about those, too...

  3. Ooh, clove oil. Yeah, that's some pretty nasty stuff. Better suit up in your haz-mat.

  4. I can't touch things like those oils; I taste them all day. I can't wear perfume for the same reason, not that I want to. If you ever want to get rid of me, wear a lot of perfume.

  5. Wow! I think you should have the same level of honesty for your customers that the grocery store clerk did - think of it as refreshing customer service...

  6. Maybe after a good rain, you could burn it gone?

    Jane M

  7. I use the harsh chemical stuff. Not going to lie. And it takes about a week to see results.

    Love the small town grocery. Honest customer service. How refreshing! Kind of like just blasting a noxious weed once and for all - not wasting time with oily schmooze that pacifies . . . I'm just saying. Welcome to the other side!

  8. If it doesn't work for the weeds, you are always prepared for your next toothache.

  9. Re: killing things the store sells (were you at a nursery?), I once worked at a store that sold supplies for birdwatching/feeding. A woman called and asked how to "get rid of" an owl. I told her that she was calling exactly the wrong place, that our customers would love to have an owl. She was surprised. Then I told her that it is illegal to kill birds, except for those killed during pheasant season, etc. It might be legal for farmers to kill crows; I don't remember. This post is ten years old, so I hope your weeds are gone, but I will read on and find out.


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