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Lambsquarters

By: Garden Gate staff
This annual weed can grow up to 5 ft. tall if you let it. The stems are grooved with red-pink spots where the leaves attach.

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Lambsquarters Chenopodium alba

IDENTIFICATION – This annual weed can grow up to 5 ft. tall if you let it. The stems are grooved with red-pink spots where the leaves attach. New leaves often show pink, maroon or light-green streaks and shading. The underside of the leaf changes to dusty white as it matures.

FAVORITE CONDITIONS – Lambsquarters is adapted for survival. This common summer weed prefers tilled soil in full sun; you will rarely find it growing in your lawn or shady areas. One healthy plant can produce 500,000 seeds that will either germinate with the next rain or wait in the soil for many years. Seeds will even survive composting, so don’t toss plants on the compost if they’ve flowered.

CONTROL – Regular close weeding every three weeks will keep your garden free of lambsquarters. Young plants hoe or pull out easily – you won’t need herbicides to control this pest. So when you pull the tender young seedlings, which taste like spinach, you can enjoy the leaves in your next salad!

Published: April 22, 2008
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