I hate dock.
I'm sure if I did some googling I would find maybe one redeeming characteristic of it but it would still be FAR outweighed by all it's horrible properties:
It is tough as guts- you can run it over with a tractor, tear it to pieces, smother it in black plastic and it STILL grows.
It has a tap root (long single central root) that goes down metres and is cemented into the soil. This is a shocker to remove with out breaking and if you do break it?
Leaving even a smidgen of teeny tiny root allows the dock to resurrect itself! And it grows really really fast.
I have literally broken a spade on a clump of dock and there are dozens more where that came from!
But today I found a new reason to hate dock- dock beatles!
I had noticed these tiny blue black beetles before. Until now I just chuckled as I was thinking the dock was finally getting some of it's own medicine and being attacked- yeah! That one's for my spade!
Then I was listening to an organic gardening podcast as I weeded the veggie garden and they started talking about rhubarb. My ears pricked up- I am growing about 40 rhubarb plants at the moment as I have started (on a super duper teeny tiny scale) to sell some of our produce. Well, what a shock! In their tips for growing healthy rhubarb their number one tip was make sure you remove ALL dock from the entire vicinity as dock beetles love nothing better than to munch on rhubarb leaves.
I dropped my weeder and raced up to the big garden where my eight brand new and oh so tiny and much-loved heritage variety rhubarb seedlings had just been planted a few days ago. I was SURE the neighbour had a few monster dock plants around.... who doesn't!
Sure enough- dock beetle infested dock:
And a mere metre away:
Ohhhhhhhh the poor wee mite! I removed SEVEN dock beetles and the poor thing only had three leaves to start with! Luckily it was the only one affected and has a new leaf shoot coming in so I removed the dock, the dock beetles and scoured the neighbour's field for any other dock but I think this was it. Phewwww.
But seriously, dock was always number one on my hated weeds list but now it has definitely lengthened its lead!