Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) can be found in a wide range of soil textures and types though it is usually found in open areas that are exposed to the elements. Its most common habitats are roadsides, waste places, gardens, and river banks.
What It Looks Like
The redroot pigweed grows to 2-6 inches in height. Its leaves exhibit lance-shaped veins which occasionally turn a shade of red. This weed’s flowers usually grow in clusters and are full of stiff bracts. Its stem is red, or red striped, and its seeds are black and have a glossy appearance. One of the most noticeable features of the redroot pigweed is its hairy texture.
Pigweed greens are edible and safe for consumption as long as they are not consumed in significantly large portions. Its seeds are nutritious and can be dried out and used as grain. Because of this weed’s fuzzy texture, it’s best that they are prepared as would a leafy green.
Prevention and Cure
Cultivation is the best way to get rid of redroot pigweed. Using a tiller, hoe, or a small forked cultivating tool is quick and easy. However, if the garden is new or fallow, there may be millions of seeds within a couple of square yards and cultivating will only bring new seeds to the surface. In this case, a pre-emergent, which is a specific type of herbicide, should be applied to stop the seeds from sprouting. This solution should only be applied to areas that are not being planted on. Inexperienced people should consider hiring a professional lawn service that provides weed control to eradicate this weed.
This plant may also be killed with household items. Corn gluten is a non-toxic, biodegradable substance that has been shown to prevent seedlings from sprouting. Also, white distilled vinegar can change the pH of the plant and weaken it.