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In the War on Weeds, Gardeners are the Underdog

By John Pohly, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, horticulture agent

Our early-spring enthusiasm for working in the garden dims a bit as the season wears on. What harm will it do, we ask, to let a few weeds go?

Hear this: A single redroot pigweed plant can produce more than 100,000 seeds. A purslane plant produces more than 50,000. A kochia plant can yield 14,000 seeds. If half of these seeds reproduce, you'd have more than 80,000 new weeds to pull!

Buried in the ground, these seeds can survive for years -- purslane for 40 years and redroot pigweed for 25. Then, when you turn the soil, the weed seeds can germinate. Considering this, a regular weeding of the garden likely will seem worth the time and trouble.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010