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Pigweed – The Spiny Kind

Pigweed – The Spiny Kind

Greetings from Park Place!

Deni here –  at the Vance Garden, we’re fighting mile high spiny amaranth or spiny pigweed.  This nasty weed is tricky to work with because of it’s long, hurtful spines.  We’ve given up trying to pull it out and have begun mowing it down; catching the seeds in our mower bag and dumping them in a location that will be taken to the landfill.

Pigweed

Having never worked in this garden soil before I was surprised by the numerous seedlings that popped up during the early summer months.  We tried our best to hoe and pull the young weeds but the few that we missed grew to be monsters with all of the rain that has fallen these past weeks.

Speaking of rain; we’ve had rain EVERY DAY for over 3 weeks.  Every time the sun shines we rejoice.

Spiny Pigweed 3

Spiny amaranth thrives in rich, warm, loamy soils with high organic matter and sufficient nitrogen (N), and can produce up to 235 thousand seeds per plant.  The size of these plants tells us that indeed, our soils are fertile!

Our soils grow great produce (and great spiny).  Our goal is to make sure the flowering plants don’t drop their seed load.  Research on spiny has suggested a one time moldboard plow to bury the seed load.  Having raised beds will make plowing difficult.  I’m considering using intense cover crops with multiple tilling sessions to knock back the seed load.   I’m sure that the majority of seeds came from “free compost” that is delivered in bulk and available for any to use.  The remaining compost pile is now covered in new spiny mothers.

They cycle goes round and round.

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