Dealing with Hairy Bittercress

Asked April 9, 2020, 4:50 PM EDT

This weed is ALL over my yard eventhough I got rid of so much of it last year. Am I making the problem worse somehow by pulling it? I've been pulling it for weeks, before it went to the elongated seed pod state. Help!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) is an annual weed that thrives in the cool spring weather. Eventually the plants die when the weather gets warm, but they are notorious for their effective seed dispersal prior then! It tends to show up in bare spots or where lawn is mowed too short.

In addition, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a good article that goes into further detail about hairy bittercress, https://www.bbg.org/news/weed_of_the_month_hairy_bittercress

Montgomery County’s pesticide law bans the use of most synthetic pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and childcare facilities. Organic pesticides are allowed. There are some exemptions for the use of synthetic pesticides, including for biting insects, indoor pests, and tree and shrub pests. Go to the following website for information regarding the law and organic lawn care information, www.MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/lawns

You can also ask them questions. Email AskDep@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov or call 240-777-0311.

Christa