Pigweed problem - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 08/08/10, 08:38 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southwestern Colorado Mtns.
Posts: 259
Pigweed problem

What would be the best way to get rid of pigweed in a garden area. I have tilled and tilled and weeded and it keeps coming up from seed again . I am sure it is armarathus retroflexus, redroot pigweed..........a real problem I can't keep up with it. It has taken over some rows of potatoes already. I would like to get rid of it for good before it goes to seed, so it can't spread next year.Also, is it edible to eat? I heard it was.:

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  #2  
Old 08/08/10, 09:05 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: northcentral Montana
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The best time to take care of a weed is when it's a seedling, or even before. I use a stirrup hoe and only disturb the top inch of soil; eventually (after about 4 passes), all the seeds in that layer have germinated and been killed, and there are no more problems for the season.

Tilling brings more weed seeds close to the surface, where they germinate. I'm always amazed at how many weeds there are, even after so many years of eliminating them -- I remember once reading that each plant will spread 7 years' worth of seeds if allowed to mature!

I also mulch everything deeply, using whatever I have on hand: grass clippings, old straw, sawdust, cardboard, newspaper. I don't like the look of bare soil -- it looks vulnerable and in need of protection. And it sure helps with the weed problem.

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  #3  
Old 08/08/10, 10:58 PM
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It can be defeated but will take awhile. Just keep hoeing it off when it comes up in the spring. If you've got it taking over something now, they no doubt are also loaded with seed heads. Those seeds are tiny and there's thousands of them. It's a major weed in local gardens but hasn't been seen in mine in at least 20-25 years. Almost had it for several years when neighbor had some dirt hauled in to bring his garden up to my level. He never allowed a single plant to set seeds and never saw a one this year.

Martin

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  #4  
Old 08/08/10, 11:22 PM
COSunflower's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oregon
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It's been a problem in EVERYONE'S garden around here this year for some reason. Even in my community garden beds. That and grass - seems like each year it's something different!!!

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  #5  
Old 08/09/10, 07:47 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
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Wikipedia indicates it can be eaten but to discard the cooking water and speaks of nitrates and other so I'd read more on the topic before I'd eat it.

Have you considered using corn gluten meal via Preen or other as a germination preventative?

At least young pig weed pulls easily.

You are on the right track to prevent it from ever going to seed. So many allow weeds to get a foothold in a garden and then just abandon it until the next year. WRONG, if it gets away from you it is far better to work it under to keep the weeds from developing seeds. Just consider it a green manure crop. lol

Your weed problem is why I flinch when I read of folks planting amaranth to harvest seed from. Related crop.

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  #6  
Old 08/09/10, 06:30 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 94

This link will give you some information on control of pigweed. Depending on the size of your garden flame weeding will work when the plants are very small (thread size).

http://www.msuweeds.com/michigans_worst_weeds/pigweed/

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  #7  
Old 08/09/10, 07:46 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: MO
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if you can't beat it, eat it

Leaves and seeds Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked; they can be dried and consumed like mouloukhieh; the seeds can be eaten raw or cooked; they can also be sprouted and added to salads. The seeds are very small but easy to harvest and very nutritious *see recipes, best wishes, ray

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  #8  
Old 08/09/10, 11:10 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
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Eat the small leaves cooked (twice in boiling water) like spinach. I LOVE it.

That being said, we have a problem with it also. DH almost killed me when I told him I saved a bunch of seeds last year to plant. Never had to plant any though as there were like a billion seeds already in the ground (and I tried hard NOT to let any get big enough to seed in the garden). We ate lots of amaranth greens this spring.

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  #9  
Old 08/09/10, 11:30 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
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If you wanted that one to grow, it would be hard to get started! There are two varieties which are grown in our community gardens. One is a short type grown by Nigerian and Indian gardeners. That one has never been a problem since it is always harvested before setting seeds. The other is mchicha, a monster from Tanzania. A single plant may produce a half pound of seed if given enough space and rich soil. However, it's eaten mostly as a steamed green and done so 21 days after planting. Germination is only 2 days if the temperature is warm enough. Growth is so rapid that it will grow to about 8 or 9 inches in that short time. After another week, stems toughen and all are pulled and another planting made. Nutrition benefit is that it's real high in Vitamin C.

Martin

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  #10  
Old 08/10/10, 01:09 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: UK
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Fry it :-) Gradually harvesting the lower leaves as the plant grows will increase its life before it bolts (sets seed). Chop it up quite small, put a little oil, garlic, salt & pepper in a pan, heat it up (not too hot), and fry it down until there is still some texture left.

Steamed I'm not a huge fan, nor boiled.

I have grown this stuff commercially so if you have any other questions just ask. If you are desperate to get rid of it, just hand pull or till under before it goes to seed, easy.

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  #11  
Old 08/10/10, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowan57 View Post
Fry it :-) Gradually harvesting the lower leaves as the plant grows will increase its life before it bolts (sets seed). Chop it up quite small, put a little oil, garlic, salt & pepper in a pan, heat it up (not too hot), and fry it down until there is still some texture left.

Steamed I'm not a huge fan, nor boiled.
I tried mchicha several times sautéed with butter, pepper, and salt. It tasted strictly like butter, pepper, and salt. I settled upon steaming with beet greens and then served with a dash of cider vinegar. Then there was some taste to the mchicha even if it came from the beets.

My friend also freezes it and I'll have to inquire as to how it is then used. At the 21-28 day growth, the entire plant is still quite tender and I can't imagine that freezing would be an improvement.

Martin
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  #12  
Old 08/10/10, 10:03 AM
Brenda Groth
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
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eat it..delicious...can it ..freeze it..yummo

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