I live in Riverside, California (about 60 miles east of Los Angeles).
My garden is loaded with Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) and
Euphorbia peplus (petty spurge).
When hand-weeding, what's the best way to make sure I pull ALL of the
weeds ("ROOTS AND ALL").
After weeding, what can I apply to prevent these weeds from re-
emerging? (Preen Weed Preventer doesn't work)
I am no friend of garden chemicals, but -- depending on the size of
the garden -- you might want to apply some (shudder) RoundUp.
RU has to be applied TO THE PLANT, as it works down through the
leaves, stem, etc. Follow the directions METICULOUSLY, including
watering well BEFORE
If you choose to go another way, I'm afraid there is no choice but
digging, not hand-weeding. The latter almost never gets the roots.
Again, if the soil is very dry, you might want to water, then get out
the shovel and dig down, down, down.
Somebody else can probably advise you on preventing re-emergence.
Some say that not even prayer helps. <g>
I'm not familiar with groundsel.
I weed with a paring knife, which I use to cut the roots of a weed.
When I pull a weed, I check to make sure that what I pulled includes at
least some root. Very few weeds can resprout from a fragment of a root.
This works on spotted spurge (Euphorba maculata), so it should also
work on E. peplus.
The problem with spurge is that a new plant sets and drops seeds almost
before you can see it. I use a thick mulch of leaves in beds that do
not have a vigorous ground cover. This reduces (but does not prevent)
the ability of the seeds to sprout and form new plants.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
grab them at the base and pull gently until the root lets go, if the
stem breaks you are pulling too fast. Practice will tell you how much
pressure to use with each plant and your soil.
For heavy soil and plants with taproots, such as Oxalis corniculata, you
can loosen the soil with a three pronged hand mattock before trying to
pull them. Avoid turning the soil, you will expose more weed seeds.
Try other kinds of pre-emergent read the label for kinds of plants that
are controlled or use mulch
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