In this article you will find out what types of hogweed are and in which countries it grows. Methods of dealing with hogweed and how to get rid of it forever in your garden. What danger is fraught with hogweed when it comes into contact with human skin - burns. The press periodically reports that in some areas Sosnovsky's hogweed has become a real natural disaster. It covers all large territories, causing significant harm to farms in fields, meadows, and vegetable gardens. Controlling its growth is difficult, but possible. This gigantic plant (up to 3.5 m in height) is called "Hercules' grass" for a reason, and it is also popularly called "bear's paw" because of the shape of the leaves. Recently, in some areas, it forms whole thickets. Which is not surprising given such an ability to reproduce. After all, just one plant gives up to 100 thousand seeds that have the ability to maintain germination for several years.
What is the danger of a cow parsnip when it comes into contact with human skin
A person, due to contact with cow parsnip, gets burns, and in case of significant damage, even treatment in the intensive care unit is possible. Children who do not know about this danger are especially often affected. Furocoumarins are to blame - substances that dramatically increase the body's sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. Severe burns threaten when the plant comes into contact with a wet body on hot sunny days.
Types of hogweed and in which countries it grows
At one time, hogweed was cultivated in many regions as a fodder crop, and due to its high reproductive ability, it began to spread catastrophically quickly. It all started with the fact that Joseph Stalin, having learned that cow parsnip is a valuable forage crop in America, personally ordered to grow it here. Very quickly, the reproduction of this culture became uncontrolled, and the plant received the name "Stalin's revenge", although young leaves of Siberian hogweed were previously added to the first courses (hence the name). Sugar was extracted from the roots and vodka was made. In addition, the Siberian hogweed is not as aggressive as Sosnovsky. It is also often used as a medicinal plant.
Methods of dealing with hogweed
In the fight against hogweed, it is very important to prevent the seeds from ripening and sieving. It is best to start fighting in the spring when the plant is germinating. An effective method of control is chemical, with the help of herbicides. It is important to follow the recommendations indicated on the package, otherwise there will be no effect. Processing should be carried out in the spring when the first rosette of leaves is formed, or at least before flowering. In the middle of the growing season, the weed is first mown, and the remaining leaves are treated with herbicide. It is also advisable to pour the preparation into the hollow tube of the stem. It is better to process perennial thickets twice. The second time - 50 days after the first. If hogweed grows among cultivated plants, they should be protected during processing from the ingress of herbicide. Of the mechanical methods of control, regular plowing of the soil is effective while the plants are in the phase of 2-3 true leaves. For greater efficiency, it is advisable to plow the soil several times during the growing season, because the seeds can germinate in summer.
And it will take several years to completely clean the site. Mowing will allow to restrain the growth rate of the plant, but new specimens can sprout in this place for a long time. Also, do not forget that the juice from the cut plants, if you do it by hand, can get on the skin. When fighting hogweed, it is important to cut the growth point below the root collar. If you cut it down, then a few dormant buds will remain on the roots, and the plant will germinate again.
In a small area, a black film with a thickness of at least 100 microns is effective in the fight against hogweed, with which unwanted plants are covered in spring. Along the edges, they press it with something heavy or drop it in. Young shoots die under the film. It must lie at least a year.
It is also effective to burn umbrellas with seeds during their ripening period, but this must be done carefully. They fight against hogweed and with the help of vinegar essence, which is watered with plants. You can also pour it into the stem cavity.
When working with hogweed, all exposed skin should be protected and clothing should be waterproof. Be sure to burn the mown plants, because in the shoots of the hogweed there are many nutrients, thanks to which the seeds have time to ripen in the umbrellas.