Controlling Velvetleaf Using Organic Gardening Techniques
Q&A - is there anything good about
velvetleaf? How do I control it?
annual weed growing from seed every year. Reaching 3 to 8
feet tall or more, the whole plant is velvety and soft and is
completely covered with short, fine hairs.
large heart-shaped leaves are usually 2 to 5 inches wide (but can get
as large as 12-inches) and arranged alternately on the thick
This is mostly a
problem for larger farms and not the home vegetable garden where it is
easily pulled out in the spring or mulched and kept from
germinating. In extreme infestations of larger plants, the
plants can be (and should be) cut to the ground to stop seed
germination. Then the roots tilled and cultivated up to stop regrowth.
Velvetleaf courtesy Wikimedia
plant is native to China where it is used as a fibre crop for making
cord, ropes, binder twine and coarse cloth and papers. I'm
told the seeds are edible as well.
considered a noxious weed in warmer areas where its long growing season
85-90 days allows it to set seed. In very cold regions, it
will not likely have the ability to grow and set seed. Note the roots
do not live over the winter but it self-sows to keep on reproducing.
short, there is absolutely no reason to grow this plant unless you want
to make coarse paper and it is considered a noxious annual weed in
Control is by cultivation - even
on large commercial farms.
You can burn off the tops with an acetic acid organic herbicide such as
'Sharpshooter' or the home mixed alternative
You can also use corn gluten (article about it)
to stop the seeds from germinating.
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