Posts Tagged ‘superweeds’

No Roundup on my prostrate pigweed!

July 12, 2015

Pulling weeds is a great activity to help you decompress from your anxieties, worries, obsessions, list making, etc. Pulling pigweed is especially rewarding. It sprouts and spreads like wildfire in the gardens, but even mature prostrate pigweed pulls out easily by the roots after a good watering. On days where you’re particularly angry, you can plant yourself in the middle of a neglected flower bed, clutch the base of a large prostrate pigweed, jerk it out, and fling it with gusto into a pile; clutch, jerk, and fling; clutch jerk, and fling. Great therapy. You can just claw at the little plants.

prostrate pigweed

prostrate pigweed

I’ve been persistently clawing at the pigweed sprouting around the bricks in our back walk. And I’ve kept the walk looking pretty good:


Except for the last few feet, where the roots are really embedded.

pigweedy walk

pigweedy walk

What to do? I’m absolutely not using Roundup on the weeds, period, which (as everyone knows by now) causes cancer, contains that horrible chemical glyphosate, which disrupts your gut bacteria (gut issues, anyone?) and, it turns out, is toxic to humans even in minute amounts. And, by the way, Monsanto has known since 1981 that glyphosate causes tumoric growth and carcinomas in multiple organs and tissues. (!)

So this morning I mixed up a natural herbicide from stuff I had in my kitchen. My sister Lisa sent me the recipe – from Consumer Reports:

1 gallon vinegar,
2 cups Epsom salts,
1/4 cup Dawn dishsoap (or similar pure dishsoap)

Pour in sprayer, spray on weeds.


I mixed up 1/4 the recipe and drizzled it on the pigweed in the walkway this morning.

just applied the homemeade herbicide

just applied the homemeade herbicide

I Googled ‘pigweed’ just out of curiosity. Some species of pigweed can grow 3 inches a day and reach 7 feet or more, choking out crops- creating huge problems for farmers. But the American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds. A pigweed that grows in the southeast, amaranthus palmeri, is resistant to Roundup. Other ‘superweeds’ are horseweed and giant ragweed. Nutsedge, which takes over lawns, is also resistant to Roundup. You saturate the Nutsedge with Roundup, the Nutsedge thrives, and the grass around it dies. Just ask my son, Aaron, who lives in Georgia. (Hey Aaron, did you try getting a flame weeder and burning it out?)

So who’s smarter? Humans or weeds?

You just as well try this natural herbicide to get rid of your weeds. Well, unless, of course, you’re compelled to plant yourself in your garden or lawn and maniacally clutch, jerk, and fling, claw at, or dig out your weeds. Or get a flame weeder and burn them out.

You know, to decompress …