Ragweed is by far the most problematic plant for allergy sufferers. Ragweed starts blooming in early August and reaches its peak in mid-September. It can pollinate all the way into late November which makes for a long allergy season. One single ragweed plant can produce up to a billion grains of pollen in just one season. So, if you have a patch of these in your yard, brace yourself for lots of pollen.
Additionally problematic, is that the pollen is carried by wind and will affect others that aren’t even in the immediate vicinity. This annual plant is the known cause of over half of the cases of hay fever in North America, where ragweed is diverse and most abundant. It is also known to cause a number of other allergy symptoms like; a sore throat, itchy watery eyes, and stuffy nose. There are over 17 species of ragweed in North America alone, and it affects over 23 million Americans every year. You may not even know that there is ragweed amongst you in your yard. Let’s take a closer look at what ragweed looks like and how to get rid of it:
What Does Ragweed Look Like?
Ragweed comes in many different shapes and sizes. There is also a giant species of ragweed, scientifically known as Ambrosia Tifida. Ragweed can grow from one to six feet in height and up to three feet wide. Although, in high traffic areas such as walkways or places that you mow or trim with a weed eater frequently, the chances of ragweed growing to its maximum height and width is slim to none. Golden Rod, another regular yard weed, has been known to be accidentally identified as ragweed but the difference is clear if you know what to look for. Ragweed has an intricate tooth like a leaf. It also sprouts small tan or green flower stalks. The flower stalks are what makes it appear to be a more common lawn weed, but with a closer look at the leaves, you will be able to tell the two apart.
How to Get Rid of Ragweed
If you or someone in your family suffer from pollen related allergies, it is a good idea to get rid of any known ragweed lurking around your home. You may not know it’s there, but your allergies do! Take a look at your flower bed, yard, and places that your children play to check for ragweed. Remember it may not always be large and stand out, but now you know what exactly to look for! Once you find the culprit, it’s time to get rid of it!
Ragweed is spread by its seeds. So, keeping it from spreading is not always easy. If you can prevent seed production, you will quickly eliminate the spread of ragweed. The best way to do this is to try and get rid of it before pollination season occurs. If you can catch your problematic ragweed before the flowering stage, you can reduce a lot of hay fever related pollen. You can start by hand pulling common ragweed in your garden or yard. This is one of the best methods for ragweed and doesn’t take a long time. Always be sure to put on your gardening gloves and long sleeves before you start pulling this weed. Ragweed has been known to cause skin irritation and even rashes on the skin. If you are sensitive to ragweed, it is also a good idea to protect your eyes. You can wear protective goggles or sunglasses to shield your eyes. You won’t want the wind blowing any ragweed in your face.
Making sure that you are aware of the presence of ragweed in your yard is vital, and you can make allergy season a lot easier if you know what to look for and how to get rid of it. Some people do not like to weed their problematic ragweed by hand. You can use various weed killing sprays on ragweed and yield the same results. Although, some products may not be very effective, and it may take a while actually to kill the ragweed. Spraying chemicals can also affect your yard and garden and may not be a good idea for your other plants or grass. Some have been known to kill the surrounding grass and plants and will make it hard to grow anything else in the sprayed area.