Joel In The Garden

War on weeds: 'If you break off that root, then you just get regrowth'

War on weeds: 'If you break off that root, then you just get regrowth'

Watch Joel in the Garden on KMTR NewsSource16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays

EUGENE, Ore. — Randy Rogers's hands are covered for tackling invasive backyard blackberries with some heavy duty gloves.

“They're designed for working around saws and sharp blades. They're Kevlar,” Rogers said.

Rogers wears a pair of Hestra gloves that he says are puncture proof against the blackberry thorns.

“But on the new ones that're coming in, you get down on the ground and just pull nice and slow, yank them out by the roots,” Rogers said.

But not all backyard roots are dealt with so easily.

“There's shallow weeds that're easy to pull and deep rooted ones like dandelions, where if you break off that root, then you just get regrowth,” Jeff Choate with Jerry’s Home Improvement said.

One weed that really likes to stick around is called catchweed bedstraw. You may have noticed some of it growing in your garden or flower bed. It's an annoying weed with an interesting bit of trivia attached to it.

“Catchweed bedstraw came over with the settlers on the covered wagons,” Choate said. “They'd stuff gunny sacks with it and that'd serve as a pillow and when it got all matted down and broken up inside, they'd dump it out alongside the trail and if there was more growing there, they'd stuff it again and move it on down until it ran out again. Eventually after a few years of that, it moved its way west and here it is in Oregon.”

So, should you rip out those trouble weeds and shake off the roots? Not necessarily.

“They've pulled all these weeds and seeded hundreds, thousands, millions of new ones in the process,” Choate said.

Choate says you can try a colored dye to show you where you've sprayed in your yard. A propane torch may also work by burning the weed's leaves and gradually starving the root.

There isn’t a specific herbicide that targets catchweed bedstraw. You will need gloves to pull it out if your skin is highly sensitive to the weed.