UPDATED August 24, 2013
IT'S RAGWEED TIME! Hello again and welcome to the new ragweed season for 2013. I have been walking the streets in our east end Toronto neighbourhood again and what should I see but a nice new crop of ragweed sprouting merrily in your gardens, parks, school yards, boulevards and road verges. It's never too early to deal with the weeds - pull out before they flower. Stay tuned for a new map.
I would love to hear from any ragweed spotters out there. I have an idea to do an awareness project where we citizen scientists tag hundreds of ragweed plants in a single night with a label "I am ragweed" with some removal instructions. Those concerned citizens who remove the plants could send us a phot of the upended ragweed and we can plot the progress of removal on the map. Any takers to help with this idea?
This link is a great source of information on common ragweed and contains many suggestions for prevention and maintenance of infestations. http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=1125
Last season's infestation are still there. Note the big one at Kew Beach School, the one on Corley across from Norway School and lots of patches on Main Street. The size of the plants is upwards of half a metre in some places.
UPDATED September 7, 2012 - Huge growth at the Corley/Woodbine bus stop, lots more on Osborne and the school grounds
Hello Beach Toronto residents. Its that time again in the late summer when ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) starts to appear to bring tears to our eyes and sniffles to our noses. Ragweed pollen is highly allergenic, generally considered the greatest allergen of all pollens, and the prime cause of hay fever in North America (Wikepedia).
This year I am making a special effort to enhance your awareness of this designated noxious weed (http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/ontweeds/weedgal3.htm#two) so we can all help get it under control.
There are a couple of species that are fairly easy to identify by their deeply dissected leaves and vertical clusters of tiny yellowish flowers. Other plants such as goosefoot are similar but don't have deeply dissected leaves.
If you spot ragweed on your property try to get rid of it before it flowers. Don't put it in your compost or yard bags. Throw it out with the garbage. Best ways to get rid of the plants are:
Place a bag over the plant and pull it out by its roots preferably before it starts to flower. The bag will help you avoid getting covered in pollen.
If you can't yank it out snap off the stem / mow it and bag it then pour boiling water on it to kill it. If it sprouts again keep cutting it off until it eventually gives up!
For those major infestations in your lawn - mow, mow, mow so it can't reproduce this year although the seed bank may still be huge. if you can afford it, resod the lawn. Last resort, use an environmentally friendly weed remover.