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!!! Which "weed" do you dislike the most?  RSS feed

 
master pollinator
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Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Kudzu is the biggest problem plant around this side of the state. It is very aggressive, grows fast, & almost impossible to control. It is called "the weed that ate the south" for good reason. It doesn't destroy individual trees, it destroys huge tracts of trees.

About English Ivy ... I know several maple trees that it has been growing on for about fifty years. Big healthy trees.
 
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Kudzu is easily eradicated with goats. The monicker "the weed that ate the south" is SO exaggerated. I've been all over the south and Kudzu is almost always (and only) found along roadsides, which makes it very visible to travelling city-dwellers, who must think the whole countryside is covered with it. In fact, it was planted intentionally along roadsides with steep slopes to stabilize them. These roadside plantings, isolated from grazing and impractical to manage, have mostly thrived, while elsewhere the plant is virtually absent from the landscape. Asian privet covers some 14 times the area that Kudzu does. Meanwhile, the hysteria surrounding kudzu has resulted in the introduction of the kudzu beetle which is a major pest of beans and other legume crops. Worse, they emit a substance that causes allergic reactions in many people, making harvesting beans a tricky task.

Invasive species hysteria may be the biggest pest of all. It creates a bias in many naturalists that tends to focus on negative impacts and overlooks positive ones, especially if the positive ones do not benefit humans directly.  I could cite dozens of examples where attempts to eradicate so-called invasive species have caused far more damage than the species itself. "Invasive species" is little more than a re-branding of the words "weed" or "pest", as they tend to have far bigger economic impacts than ecological ones. In fact, most have net positive ecological impacts.

Puncturevine and spiny amaranth have to be the most annoying weeds on one's hands. Spiny amaranth looks just like regular amaranth until you try to pull it up...ouch! Luckily both are easily managed with a hoe.

Field bindweed, Bermuda grass, and nutsedge are the most difficult weeds - that tend to occur widely - to control organically. Johnson Grass and Bamboo can be harder to control, but they tend to occur in small clumps rather than invade whole fields. The first two will find their way out from under plastic mulch while the latter, with its sharp leaf tips, grows right through it. The first two will also grow through even heavy mulch applications.

Nutsedge can be eradicated with pigs. Sheet mulching works on nutsedge and Bermuda grass. While both methods will kill existing populations of field bindweed, seeds survive in the soil for up to 50 years and new populations will grow over time. This aspect might make field bindweed the worst weed of all, at least for me.

 
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Sonja Draven wrote:Definitely English ivy for me too. It is pretty but so invasive here and damages everything. (As has been said.)

And you have to burn it in the winter because it won't die otherwise and it just spreads.  (I am actually watching some burn as i type this for that reason.)  Pulling it isn't enough. It roots multiple places, breaks off,  etc.
Blackberry and dandelion can be tough but I can and do eat and use them. (I can understand why others don't feel as I do.)



I've found Ivy a bit easier to control than the invasive Blackberries in the PNW. For one, there are no thorns and I don't come away bloody and secondly, it generally pulls out of the ground fairly easy and is usually an every other year chore instead of once a growing season month.

I have two weeds that I really dislike - Blackberry vines and Salmon Berry bushes. Salmonberry sticks will grow when burried 6 feet underground and the roots can grow 3 or 4 feet in a short amount of time and act as a rhizome.
 
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