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Hairy bitter cress

Symptoms

Small short-lived annual plants which spread rapidly by means of small seeds dispersed from spring-like seedpods.
Find it on: freshly-cultivated ground in borders, pots, paving, walls, vegetable plots
Time to act: all year round

Overview

Left unchecked, hairy bitter cress can quickly spread to infest the whole garden. This weed can complete its lifecycle in three to four weeks to disperse thousands of seeds, all of which can germinate to release their own seeds in quick succession. The weed may be introduced as seed, seedlings or as plants in compost when buying new plants from nurseries or garden centres. It may also spread from neighbouring gardens or remain dormant at depth in the soil to be brought to the surface by cultivation. Plants are also able to overwinter.
Solution
Small short-lived annual plants which spread rapidly by means of small seeds dispersed from spring-like seedpods.
Organic
Remove young plants before they get a chance to flower and set seed. Pull them out individually by hand or hoe off young seedlings and remove from the soil surface. Avoid deep cultivation which brings up new seeds. Apply a mulch to the surface after weeding to prevent further germination.
Chemical
Use contact weedkiller to kill seedlings and young plants before they grow and get a chance to flower.



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Talkback: Hairy bitter cress
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queenofthegreen 24/11/2011 at 15:28

i wouldn't consider hairy bittercress a weed. its delicious to eat in salads or sandwiches - tastes like a cross betweeen watercress and rocket; also very good for you - high in vitamins and iron. why on earth would anyone want to get rid of it? why not try living with nature instead of battling against it?

or7e5mus2de45 24/11/2011 at 15:28

your website is great, I have read your solution to elder ground weed which I have invading my garden but I would like your advice on an organic weed killer as I don't like to use chemical weed killers if there is an alternative

thanks for your great advice

daphnejones 24/11/2011 at 15:28

how can i grow watercress

jrhcjhcehaeh 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I would never have thought of using this pernicious weed as a salad crop. I should be able to collect quite a mouthful from my patch!