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Which "weed" do you dislike the most?

 
garden master
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I think everyone has a "weed" that they severely dislike with a passion, one that's hard to get rid of or comes up everywhere no matter what you do.

I thought it would be interesting and fun to see what weeds are the most disliked by everyone.

1) What weed is the bane of your existance?

2) Why is it so bad?

3) Have you had success against it?


1) Mine is dog fennel.

2) It comes up everywhere, spreads by the roots, grows super fast, and is very hard to get out once it gets big.

3) I've had modest success against it by pulling it out when it's young or mulching it after pulling out sections of the large plant.

Feel free to post pictures of your weed if you like!
 
pollinator
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English ivy

It’s everywhere in the NW, it kills large trees, it is toxic for virtually everything to eat, is noxious to burn, and is an allergen to me. I have used it’s vines to make junk pole fence straps but even that they aren’t great for. I know there are several British isle ivies, but I call them all english so I can feel like William Wallace as I unleash my rage upon them.
 
pollinator
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Hands down it is Bermuda grass. It aggressively spreads underground. Impossible to completely dig out except for repeated removal over years of effort. It's the only weed I haven't been able to conquer on my farm. I've chopped it, dug it out, smothered it for a year, flamed it, and used several organic weedkillers. Outside of ruining my garden soil, I can't easily control it. I have had to resort to digging down 8 inches to remove the stolon of every shoot I see coming up. That's quite an impossible task when you're growing on 4 acres of old pasture area. It may possibly take the rest of my life to clear my growing beds.
 
pollinator
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Convolvulis arvensis and Cardaria draba

Rhizomes is why and lack of available biological control.

Cirsium arvense is similar but I have hope for a new biocontrol initiative I heard about.
 
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Araujia sericifera (Moth Vine).

Invasive, not good for anything. Extremely fast growing, hard to stay ahead of in removal. Seed dispersal is by the millions, white sap at the slightest touch. No biological control, worthy of Agent Orange bombing by a B52!

Whoever brought this weed to Australia I hope their souls burn in purgatory for eternity!

Suffice to say, I hate everything about this useless plant.

 
pollinator
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1) Quack grass (Elymus repens). Bloody quack grass, as I've renamed it.

2) Spreads incredibly fast to my garden beds by creeping, almost impossible to remove the roots competely & backbreaking to try to do so, spreads from tiniest bits of roots left

3) Covering the bed for one year is the only remedy that really works. And I mean covering it so that you exclude ALL light. A tiny hole in your cover means it finds its way to that spot and lives on.

There are uses for this plant. Animals like eating it and the root has some medicinal purposes. So, it's not all bad.
Still, as it causes me so much work and forces me to use black plastic mulch, I don't like it.

I hesitated about whether I should say creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), or horsetail (Equisetum sp.). Those are also pretty impossible to weed and I have to use plastic if I want to get rid of them. But, thistle with its deep roots at least helps to fight soil compaction and horsetail spreads slowly compared to quack grass. So yes, bloody quack grass is the winner on our farm, in my opinion.
 
master steward
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I hate (rather than dislike) these:  Bur Clover and Sand Spur

Almost all plants have some use and whoever introduced these probably thought that was true.
 
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Marestail andb bindweed are the bane of my life. If you don’t get every last little bit of root it feels like 200 more pop up!
 
pollinator
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Marestail is most certainly the most annoying, but it's closely followed by Ground elder with nettles trailing in third.

Marestail is pretty much impossible to irradiate, and it spreads so fast it's insane. Ground elder smothers everything making a carpet a foot tall, it comes up earlier than anything except the spring bulbs, it's very tolerant of shade, nothing eats it not even the snails and there is no way I can get through nearly an acre of the stuff. Nettles only make the list because the seedlings come up in the middle of everything, and every time I go to get a carrot or lettuce I end up getting stung, which is then 24hrs of annoyance. I have plenty of other weeds that I don't care about at all like dandylions, black nightshade etc etc, they are either easy to remove or do not compete with anything I want to grow.
 
gardener
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1) What weed is the bane of your existence?

- Himalayan blackberries

2) Why is it so bad?

- Forms vast thickets that can be very hard to control and that severely limit the potential for natural recruitment of trees or the planting of trees. Also, very thorny and can spread 5+ feet in a single year since the tip of vines will root.

3) Have you had success against it?

- Yup, but it has been a struggle. I tried cutting it repeatedly and this works but I struggle to find enough time to do it often enough to actually be effective. I have now started digging it out in addition to cutting it. Cutting it at least slows it down which makes it easier to dig it out.



All that being said - I do love harvesting blackberries. They are very good tasting and the vines are very productive. I'm planning on planting some cultivator varieties that are thorn less. I figure since the wild type does so well here perhaps the cultivator varieties will still do well and that way I can still get a bunch of blackberries even when I finish removing the wild type.

Also, there is a native type to this area that grows along the ground and does not mind shade. The berries on this type are also very tasty but it is not very productive. I don't mind this blackberry since it does not tend to push other plants out.
 
pollinator
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I am another bermuda grass hater. Fitting that another name for it is devil's grass. It creeps everywhere I don't want it. Wouldnt care if it stayed in the lawnish area. I'm happy as long as that is mostly green and non muddy. I dont care what is giving me the green look. I have scars from pulling that evil stuff from my garden.
 
Steve Thorn
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Ben Zumeta wrote:English ivy

It’s everywhere in the NW, it kills large trees, it is toxic for virtually everything to eat, is noxious to burn, and is an allergen to me. I have used it’s vines to make junk pole fence straps but even that they aren’t great for. I know there are several British isle ivies, but I call them all english so I can feel like William Wallace as I unleash my rage upon them.



Some of my friends' neighbors have an ivy that grows in their front yard around their trees in their natural area. It's taken over everything and covers the trees. It is kind of pretty in a way, but I see how it could get WAY out of control and smother everything else.
 
pollinator
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The most common and annoying weeds in the area are oxalis. While they are edible, they are mostly stem, and very sour. Cleavers is another annoying one in my yard. It has medicinal uses, but it's difficult to get rid of.

But the most worrisome weeds are water hemlock, given how poisonous it is.
 
Steve Thorn
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Check out this other recent thread if their is a particular "weed" that you actually don't mind and actually like to see. Which "weed" do you like the most?
 
Steve Thorn
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Su Ba wrote:Hands down it is Bermuda grass. It aggressively spreads underground. Impossible to completely dig out except for repeated removal over years of effort. It's the only weed I haven't been able to conquer on my farm. I've chopped it, dug it out, smothered it for a year, flamed it, and used several organic weedkillers.



I don't have Bermuda bad where I live, but I do have Centipede grass that does similar things.

Maybe all that Bermuda could be used to start a permaculture golf course.
 
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I don't mind most weeds, but I do "hate" goat's head puncturevine, Tribulus terrestris. That's almost the only one I try to eradicate from my area. It gets underfoot in the most irritating and sometimes painful way, really like nothing else.

I don't mind most of the common annual weeds because they're edible, like amaranth (pigweed, mentioned above), Chenopodium album (lambsquarters, fat hen), Malva neglecta, etc. In the US I'd happily eradicate poison ivy, and I've done a lot of voracious vine removal. In Ladakh, I also prefer to get rid of parasitic Cuscuta (dodder), and a certain toxic wild plant that I've known many people to be mildly poisoned by. But mostly my garden space is small enough and my climate tough enough that I'm happy if anything grows, and not overwhelmed by weeding.
 
pollinator
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Bindweed in the worst weed in my area by far. Climbs and smothers plants, develops a dense carpet on disturbed soil, can't be smothered, any bit grows a new plant, seeds last for decades in the soil, deep and extensive roots that can't be dug or pulled.

Quack grass is similar but easier to outcompete or dig, and it does not climb plants.

Buffalo bur is fast growing, very spiny, and toxic. But it is annual and fairly easy to hoe out.
 
Ben Zumeta
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English ivy is one of the few vines I know of that actually parasitize their host tree, sending roots into the cambium to sap their nutrients and water [edit 5/25/19: I was mistaken about the cause of death and injury to the host tree. The roots are merely holdfasts and do not sap nutrients and water. Instead, they cause the bark, cambium and ultimately the trunk to rot by preventing airflow and sun being able to reach the tree]. They also make the tree more flammable and prone to canopy burns, and ivy smoke is especially toxic. For these reasons and more, my understanding is it is illegal to sell in west coast states.
 
pollinator
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Ben I've heard before that ivy parasites its host, but i doubt that's the case.
http://howdyyadewit.blogspot.com/2011/01/friend-or-fiend-what-to-do-about-that.html#.XBs9u2Io_IV
 
Hugo Morvan
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Hi Rebecca, had to google your plant Tribulus Terrestis, immediately all kinds of ads pops up, seems extracts are being sold.  Tribulus Terrestris is a plant used for its many health benefits. It can protect the heart, help treat depression, and even increase libido. What's not to like? ;)
 
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Grass, in general. All the turf- and sod-forming grasses are difficult to keep in bounds, and the ones we have in the Islands, planted in pastures for the cattle, are so tall and grow so thickly, they will kill fruit tree saplings by crowding them out.
 
pioneer
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Su Ba wrote:Hands down it is Bermuda grass. It aggressively spreads underground. Impossible to completely dig out except for repeated removal over years of effort. It's the only weed I haven't been able to conquer on my farm. I've chopped it, dug it out, smothered it for a year, flamed it, and used several organic weedkillers. Outside of ruining my garden soil, I can't easily control it. I have had to resort to digging down 8 inches to remove the stolon of every shoot I see coming up. That's quite an impossible task when you're growing on 4 acres of old pasture area. It may possibly take the rest of my life to clear my growing beds.



This, this, one thousand times this!  
 
Ben Zumeta
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All those sources on ivy are from a very different climate and ecosystem to my experience in the Pacific NW. I am inclined to want to believe any organism can be symbiotic, but I have seen ivy overtake the understory and bring down limbs that pull catastrophic amounts of bark off the trunk. I would bet it provides wintry berries for some birds but English ivy is a mother Tucker and I will give it no quarter.
 
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Greenbrier vine (smilax). I hate it, hate it. It's miserable to get through, impossible to kill. The local ag extension office recommends concentrated Roundup mixed with Diesel (!!) to "control" it. Even fire only sets it back a little bit. Pernicous, poke-y stuff, and it's all over my property, smothering trees and clogging up the creek.  

Cori
 
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Puncture vine. It’s where the Romans got the idea for caltrops, it goes through bike tires, and the seeds last up to 6 years in the ground. Mulch with cardboard (not the best, but solid enough) covered with 10+cm of normal mulch seems to keep it from sprouting. I’ve heard rumors of lawn rollers covered with yoga mats, but haven’t tried that yet.

 
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While both of these can be utilized in different ways, dandelion and chickweed are my gardening nemesis.  Dandelion is an invasive here in AK and I liken chickweed as the kudzu of the north.  I spend the vast majority of my weeding time getting rid of one or the other.  Both can and will take over raised garden beds, conventional garden, or flower beds  and out compete or choke out my veggies and flowers.
 
pollinator
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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.)
 
Steve Thorn
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William Schlegel wrote:Convolvulis arvensis and Cardaria draba

Rhizomes is why and lack of available biological control.

Cirsium arvense is similar but I have hope for a new biocontrol initiative I heard about.



Those common names are bindweed and whitetop/hoary cress right?

Yeah I hate weeds with rhizomes too, they're so hard to get out once they are established.
 
Trace Oswald
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Rin Corbin wrote:Puncture vine. It’s where the Romans got the idea for caltrops, it goes through bike tires, and the seeds last up to 6 years in the ground. Mulch with cardboard (not the best, but solid enough) covered with 10+cm of normal mulch seems to keep it from sprouting. I’ve heard rumors of lawn rollers covered with yoga mats, but haven’t tried that yet.



At least it's an aphrodisiac

Pubmed
 
Steve Thorn
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Hi Rebecca, had to google your plant Tribulus Terrestis, immediately all kinds of ads pops up, seems extracts are being sold.  Tribulus Terrestris is a plant used for its many health benefits. It can protect the heart, help treat depression, and even increase libido. What's not to like?



This looks pretty scary.


(source)

Ouch!


(source)

Interesting video on a "natural" control method.



 
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The stuff that gives you a body buzz or too much of a head buzz to the point of paranoia. Oh wait...
Thistle
 
Steve Thorn
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F Agricola wrote:Araujia sericifera (Moth Vine).

Invasive, not good for anything. Extremely fast growing, hard to stay ahead of in removal. Seed dispersal is by the millions, white sap at the slightest touch. No biological control, worthy of Agent Orange bombing by a B52!

Whoever brought this weed to Australia I hope their souls burn in purgatory for eternity!

Suffice to say, I hate everything about this useless plant.



Moth vine has pretty flowers but huge seed pods and lots of seeds, I see how this could spread super quickly.


(source)

This video shows someone pulling it up, don't like the chemicals in the last part though.



This video says it gets its name because moths get their tongues stuck in its flowers, interesting! Don't like the chemicals part here either though.

 
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Burdock, as it gets all over my sheep's wool!
 
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Lambs Quarter. Grows all over. So thick and big. Can't seem to grow anything without that sprouting up on top of it. Can't win. :(
 
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I have an odd one -  Veronica beccabunga.  It's supposedly a semi-aquatic which got into my compost heap when I was clearing out the pond, and thence to the allotment, where it has felt quite at home and rambles around.  If I am being lazy and not digging weeds because mostly I only need to pull on my plot, it snaps off really easily and just starts again and gets so fat and lush it must be taking lots out of the soil.  Grr.
 
Anne Miller
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Araujia sericifera  those pods reminded me of milkweed pods

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araujia_sericifera

The plant can be used as an alternative food source for caterpillars of the monarch butterfly. Although monarch caterpillars are not known to occur naturally on the plant, they will readily feed on leaves when supplies of Asclepias physocarpa have run out.

 
Ben Zumeta
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I used to feel similarly about himalayan blackberry to english ivy. I now have come to embrace its independent productivity, and where I want to get rid of it I've found it to be useful hung or woven into fences I want barbed for animals, or dried on a fence to kill it and placed at the base of hugel beds to reduce gopher damage for a couple years when trees are most vulnerable (got the idea from Sepp Holzer). I wouldn't mind some pigs to help me get them out where I need to do so, but don't have the land. I also am looking to try Mollison's description of the old english way of starting apples amongst brambles, where you thrash out there with a sapling tall enough to get some light or a form of Holzer's approach by tossing out numerous overripe fruits or juice/wine must (seeds and skins) into a bramble. The sapling will shoot up above the canes, that first year and send out branches just above them to shade them out thereafter. Ideally, you briefly let pigs go at the blackberries and tree fruit in the first couple years of light fruiting and they tear up the canes pretty well, but you don't let them destroy the small tree's roots. Then when the trees are big enough to handle them, cattle will clear the rest of the canes as they eat the fallen fruit, and you supposedly have a naturally, perfectly trained (a response to competing with blackberries) and pruned horizontal branches just above the cattle's reach.  That all being said, I have done weeks of pigs' work grubbing blackberries.
 
Steve Thorn
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Nina Jay wrote:1) Quack grass (Elymus repens). Bloody quack grass, as I've renamed it.

2) Spreads incredibly fast to my garden beds by creeping, almost impossible to remove the roots competely & backbreaking to try to do so, spreads from tiniest bits of roots left

3) Covering the bed for one year is the only remedy that really works. And I mean covering it so that you exclude ALL light. A tiny hole in your cover means it finds its way to that spot and lives on.

There are uses for this plant. Animals like eating it and the root has some medicinal purposes. So, it's not all bad.
Still, as it causes me so much work and forces me to use black plastic mulch, I don't like it.

I hesitated about whether I should say creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), or horsetail (Equisetum sp.). Those are also pretty impossible to weed and I have to use plastic if I want to get rid of them. But, thistle with its deep roots at least helps to fight soil compaction and horsetail spreads slowly compared to quack grass. So yes, bloody quack grass is the winner on our farm, in my opinion.



I had something similar, and finally smothered it with mulch, but it took a whole lot.
 
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