Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weedy Wednesday: Ragweed Seedlings

It that transitional time of the growing season where the spring weeds are coming to an end and the warm season weeds are beginning to arrive.  This time of year is also when many of our warm season crops and plants are coming up too.  Sometimes it isn't easy to distinguish between a weed and a seedlings planted from seed when they are young.  That's why it is very important to learn what your garden's weeds look like!  Today we're going to take a look at one very common, and very annoying (especially if you have allergies), weed: ragweed.

Ragweed seedling sprouting among lettuce in a raised bed.

We have ragweed just about everywhere that the soil is exposed.  That in itself tells me that I need to cover better with mulch!  Ragweed isn't a hard weed to remove when it's young.  It pulls up very easily.  When it gets growing it can be a little more tricky to successfully remove, especially when entrenched in dry clay soil (AKA a brick).

Ragweed is responsible for causing many of the fall allergy problems that so many people have. For that reason (and the yummy taste) I recommend eating local honey!  Local honey bees use the pollen of plants around them to make their honey which helps the people who eat the honey develop resistance to the pollen.  But since this isn't a health food blog I'll get back to gardening! Ragweed unfortunately gets mixed up with goldenrod because golden rod blooms in magnificent golden colored plumes of flowers each fall right when all the allergies are happening. Goldenrod is insect pollinated and doesn't impact people significantly.  Ragweed is wind pollinated and gets everywhere which causes the irritation in you're nose that I'm sure you are quite fond of. ;)

This is one of those cases where what you do (or don't do) now could effect you later.  Get the weeds when young and you'll have fewer problems!

5 comments :

  1. Thanks for this post! I've been a lurker at your blog for some time. You always have good information, but the photo of the young ragweed is extremely timely and useful to us!

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  2. Informative post, thank you. As a chronic pollen hayfever sufferer I have had some summmers ruined by it so your little honey tip will come in handy for me!

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  3. Why oh why must young ragweed look so much like baby carrots. As if growing carrots in clay soil were not difficult enough

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  4. I pulled two of these out today. I didn't know that what they were just that they weren't suppose to be there! Thanks.

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  5. I never have luck with tossing seeds and I just wonder if that is due to me pulling them without knowing what plant they could be. Duh.... I get into a pulling freenzy each spring and I am sure I have killed many a beauty. Sigh... I should mark my spots...

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