The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Does ragweed grow back after cutting?

does ragweed grow back stronger the next year?

We get a lot of ragweed invading our perimeter.

It's a good thing neither of us is allergic, but it doesn't take long before it grows high enough to shade parts of the garden.

Wikipedia recommends pulling up ragweed in the late spring when the roots are not as strong, something we might try next year. Mowing is not good enough because if just a half inch sticks out above the ground it will grow back even stronger within 2 weeks of non freezing conditions.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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oh my! I would not be able to breathe at all! Allergies stink
Comment by Irma Thu Aug 9 23:06:00 2012
Irma --- I'm sorry to hear that! I hear that local honey might help you out, and I suspect exposure does too, if you can stand it.
Comment by anna Fri Aug 10 08:32:16 2012

Where I grow food (central Texas) I have found it useful to utilize giant ragweed as a summer cover crop. It has many benefits like serious biomass production and shade. It shades out the soil beneath thoroughly and surrounding plants partially. It also acts as a wind break, which at this time of year the wind is real hot and real dry. I've also notices ants herding aphids up their stalks, and plenty of insects of all sorts in its foliage. Also, my rabbit is loving leaves with a little bit of stalk attached.

It being really dry here holds the flower formation until right about now, or whenever we get a rain spell (maybe soon, maybe in weeks) Once they start to form I harvest the biomass for a great compost addition as it aerates the pile and breaks down rather quickly for how coarse it is.

It literally allows life around it to continue on during dreadful conditions(with my help watering just enough of course). When it becomes a problem (the pollen, of which I am severely allergic) I remove it, which is conveniently right at the same time I am ready to plant my beds for our great fall season.

I regard it as a very important part of soil creation and health on my small farm.

Comment by eric Mon Aug 13 22:23:35 2012

Eric --- I don't precisely use it as a cover crop, but have been taking advantage of the massive amounts of biomass as a mulch for our berries and fruit trees when we cut it out. They seem to really like the summer dose, and our bees also love the pollen. (We don't worry too much about cutting it just before the fruiting stage.)

I love your permaculture method of beating the Texas summer heat!

Comment by anna Tue Aug 14 07:37:31 2012
One of your compatriots wrote this excellent summary of some of the benefits of some of our much maligned weeds: WEEDS GUARDIANS OF THE SOIL -
Comment by Mike Lee Fri Aug 17 18:21:29 2012
Mike --- Thanks for sharing! I'll have to check that out.
Comment by anna Fri Aug 17 22:37:28 2012

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