Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Weed Management: Using Pulled Weeds for Mulch

Pile of Bindweed. Use as Mulch? Think Again!
Andrea Cummins, Extension Agent at neighboring CSU Douglas County Extension, has this to say about using your weeds as mulch.  Be careful. You might be making your weed problem worse!

“Afternoon July thunderstorms have brought an onslaught of weeds in gardens and open space all along the Front Range. Soils too dry for seed germination this spring now have enough moisture to sprout weeds. Weeding practices may actually worsen the problem. Leaving pulled weeds on the soil surface is advocated by some as a way of mulching. Weeds dry out and die and the debris forms a mulch.

It is important to identify the weeds pulled for mulch. Some weeds can be pulled prior to setting seed and left in place with no danger of returning.Examples include: salsify, annual sowthistle, groundsel, and prickly lettuce.

Weeds such as bindweed, purslane, prostrate spurge and prostrate knotweed can root from a very small piece of stem or root. Gardeners should not leave these weeds on the soil for mulch, instead dispose of them in the trash.”