Our View: The flower (weed) show turns ugly fast, so time for cleanup is now

March 30, 2019

The bounty of rain-fueled desert wildflowers is awe inspiring as it carpets the surrounding hillsides.

It goes from awesome to awful when the flower display extends into neighborhoods and is mixed with tangled and sometimes toxic weeds. Thanks to ample rainfall, the proliferation of weeds in yards around the city is particularly noticeable this year.

And now it’s spring and it’s time for a spring clean up.

Recurring rainfall has made it tough for residents to stay ahead of the weeds. Whether pulled or sprayed or both, the weeds seemingly never stop coming back even in the most carefully tended yard.

Some are pretty and produce flowers, allowing at least a brief justification for a cease-fire in the weed wars. Make no mistake, almost all are just pure weeds and some are toxic.

Most residents seem to do their best to keep the weeds in check. Some simply don’t and those homes increasingly stand out as spring’s growth continues. Neighbors mumble, though few complain to the city, which has code enforcement authority over unchecked weeds.

As weeds peak, they also go to seed, potentially sending new weeds on the breeze to neighboring properties. The neighbors have every right to dislike the situation for it directly affects them as well as giving a neglected look to the area.

Homeowners have a responsibility to clean up the weeds and should do so. For those who don’t, the city has authority to make them. But why even go there? Why not just do what needs to be done.

The problem extends beyond residential areas. Right now, tall flowers and greenery add some natural beauty along some commercial sections of the SR95 multi-use trail. Walkers need to be careful of brushing against scorpionweed, but mostly it’s an attractive scene.

A few weeks from now, barring significant rain, those flowers (and weeds) will be brown, desiccated jumbles of stalks and stems. The scenery will go from attractive to the opposite. Property owners should take steps now, whether in residential or commercial areas, to get rid of those weeds. Neighbors and the rest of the city will thank them.

— Today’s News-Herald