giant weeds! what should I do.

I've been pulling weeds from an untended plot. Most are over 4' tall. It's slow and my muscles are sore. Is it better just to cut them down to the ground or should I continue trying to put out roots and all?
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If you don't get them by the roots, they'll just grow back. If the weeds are annuals, cutting them will aid in minimizing seed formation, but in general there will be enough seeds in the ground for next year anyway.
I suggest some mechanical means be used. Hoe first, then rake up the dislodged plants. This will remove the bulk of the plants and you can hand pick the rest. You may fork up the plants, then rake. Even better, if you can do it, is to till the area. However, the plants will get entwined on the axle of the tiller and make a real mess.
If you're amenable to chemical use, spray with Roundup. This will kill everything and you can start over.
Good Luck,
Guy Bradley Chesterfield MO zone 6
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On 18 Aug 2004 09:26:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Hassen bin Lai) wrote:

Are they perennials or annuals?
If they're annuals, I would just keep them from going to seed. If they're perennials, though, you're going to have to get those roots sooner or later. And if you wait until later, those roots will be deeper and harder to pull.
Penelope
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I am a person who hates to pull weed, so here is how I would get out of most of it. I would first pick any seed heads off the plants and toss them in a hot compost pile or else somewhere they won't do any harm. then I would mow the rest down and leave the remains where they fell. Next if the important part. Cover the area with a thick layer of newspaper (it often helps to dampen it as you put it on)and cover that with grass clippings, compost, mulch of some kind or a combination of all three. If you want to plant something there soon, just dig a hole right through what you have put down and it will do fine. You will get rid of most of the shallow rooted plants and grasses with just this. You will still find a few, but many times fewer weeds than you started with coming through the covering. It is really not a very big job at this point to dig up these survivors or spot treat with a weed killer.
I use this method all the time to start new beds in areas that started out as lawn with assorted weeds and have had great success. I am also using it right now to clear an area along and under a tree line that started out as nothing but big weeds and little honeysuckle trees. As I chop down the little trees they get chipped up and used as mulch on the paper, so they are even helping in their own demise.
Good luck with your project
Linda
Hassen bin Lai wrote:

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