Several years ago I enrolled in the Master Gardener class taught through Montana State University extension. I was a willing and eager participant and I learned a ton. I only missed one on the final exam.
Since then, I have become a pretty good pruner, fairly decent at turf management thanks to my lawnmowers and weed whacker, and I can grow shrubs like nobody's business. What I can't seem to do is grow a decent garden. On the other hand, I am an expert at growing weeds. Every year I am amazed at the size and extensiveness of said weeds. I'm pretty sure they grow a foot a day and appear almost instantly after I have pulled or chopped them from either the raised beds or the immediate surroundings.
Even though most of them have medicinal or edible properties, I have yet to be convinced of their value other than to irritate me. Common mallow, purslane, pigweed, mustards, prickly and non-prickly lettuces, dandelions, and a few others I've given not nice names to. They appear in the spring as tiny, innocuous green things and within a week they are well on their way to becoming trees.
I pull them, spray them, buzz them to the dirt with the weed whacker, and even burned them. In the raised beds, where I've planted onions, beans, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, squashes, cucumbers, etc, all that seem to come up are...weeds. Eventually, I'll get plants from seeds I sowed and lectured to. I almost break into tears when I clear away a new crop of weeds and find the hint of some of the vegetables I intended to grow. It's an annual miracle.
Before you advise me on what to do, please know I have tried many things. Mulch, Preen, a blow torch, hissy fits, and cusswords. Instead, feel free to come over and weed with me. We can chat about life and solve all kinds of problems. And if you do, bring any produce you have grown tired of or have too much of, because you are a way better gardener than I am.
In the meantime, I'm going to go put more line on my weed whacker and commence to cut a path to the garden area. Again.
Master Gardener....whatever. At least I have good sunsets out there!