Latent weed seeds

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Unregistered, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Just wondering of there is a product or method available for killing weed seeds currently in the soil. I have some areas which have been badly neglected by the previous owners of the property and every year these areas produce a very healthy, prolific crop of weeds. I've been fairly vigilant about not letting these weeds go to seed, so I can only assume that there is a large bank of seeds just waiting for the right conditions to germinate. I've thought about solarization (covering the area with clear plastic for a few weeks) but haven't actually tried it since these spots get very little direct sun. Any ideas? For now I'll just continue spraying and cutting.

  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC
    Weed seed banks in soil

    Yes all soil that has not been sterilized has at least some amount of weed seeds (tens of thousands) in the weed bank that will germinate when their preferred conditions arise. The simplest biological control of these weeds is a thick mulch (min. 3 inches). Hoe or hand weeds any prior to applying the mulch. If you have shrubs or perenniels in these areas, be careful not to mulch too closely to crowns or stems. There is a new product on the market for turf areas developed from corn gluten that acts as an herbicide for germinating seeds. It is used when planting new turf grasses.
  3. Weed bank

    Thanks for the info - I've used corn gluten meal on the lawn with unknown success. I was probably a bit premature in using it on an established population - the existing perennial weeds are still pumping out the seeds. The only benefit I (probably) experienced was the elimination of whatever seeds happened to germinate this spring and were killed by the gluten. A drop in a bucket, however.

    I have access to cheap mulch - a tree service company is located nearby and they have PILES of wood chips for ten bucks a load. That sounds like my best approach - there are no desirable plants in my weed patch.

    Thanks again!

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