How do I get rid of galinsoga?

Asked November 30, 2018, 6:59 PM EST

Apart from completely giving up my vegetable garden (100x75 feet) to "smother crops" this coming year, how can I get rid of galinsoga? I've combed the web for information, but have not found much that is practical for the home gardener as opposed to a farmer. At this point, I am willing to use an herbicide, as this weed has practically overwelmed my garden for the past five years or so. It reproduces far too rapidly for me to keep up with it by hand-weeding or hoeing. I am normally an organic gardener, but I am at my wits' end. I did read through the other questions, but many of the links supplied in the answers aren't working (page not found, 404 error, etc.)

Jackson County Michigan vegetable gardening

1 Response

Galinsoga is an annual broadleaf weed; it will be reproducing from seed. You need to find a way or several ways to get rid of those weed seedlings before they overwhelm your garden.
Regardless of the method(s) you use to get rid of the weeds, you will want to minimize disturbance to the soil to prevent bringing up more weed seeds from lower in the soil profile to the seed germination zone of the plants you want to grow. You want to create what is known as a stale seedbed. Wait until the weed seedlings have germinated to begin control methods. A stale seedbed is a seedbed where the nondormant weeds in the germination zone (shallow soil layers from which weeds can emerge) are killed before crop planting.

this technique is most is successful when the majority of the nondormant weeds
in the top couple of inches of the soil profile emerge and are killed before crop planting. Eliminating weeds in the germination zone reduces weed pressure in the crop.
There are several methods (or a combination of them ) you can use.
1) You could use glyphosate (i.e. Roundup) a non-selective herbicide to kill the seedlings as they emerge. Be careful not to get this product on green tissue of any plants you want to keep. It may also cause injury to trees with thin or colored bark if sprayed on the bark.
2) You could use very shallow tilling. Overtilling destroys soil structure and contributes to soil erosion, so don't overdo it.
3) You could use a weed flamer to kill the emerged seedlings. Propane weed flamers tend to work better on broadleaf weeds than grasses, and better on annuals than perennial weeds. it is a fairly slow process, and requires attention .
Follow the instructions with the device. Tighten all fittings, check for leaks by applying soapy water- if you see bubbles forming at a fitting, that indicates a leak. make sure everything is tight. Wear protective clothing and keep the flame weeder aimed away from yourself, plastic, wood and other combustible materials. Use it after the dew is off the weeds. There are several companies that manufacture them. Two examples are Weed dragon https://flameengineering.com/collections/weed-dragon-torch-kits
and Flame weeder http://flameweeders.com/ . there are others- I'm just giving you a couple of
examples.