Northampton Community Garden

August 2020 Weed Inspection

As gardeners, we all need to be aware of the following plants which are harmful to our plots and can cause severe allergies to ourselves or our garden neighbors. It is important that we look for them in our plots and remove them.

We’ve changed the July Ragweed Inspection to a broader-focused August Weed Inspection. We’ll be looking for these weeds to be removed from your plots by the second week of August.

Photographs of Garlic Mustard, Asian Bittersweet, Japanese Knotweed, and Ragweed for reference
  • Garlic Mustard – A biennial plant with a garlic odor when leaves are crushed.The leaf is kidney shaped and there are small white flowers in the Spring. The plant can produce thousands of seeds which are dispersed by winds. This plant can change soil conditions which can inhibit the growth of other plants. Pull out at the base and try to remove the entire long tap root.
  • Bittersweet – A climbing woody vine.New twig growth is smooth and green. Plant grows rapidly, girdling and choking plants and bushes. Seeds are dispersed by birds. Cut vines to ground and hand pull or dig out root portions.
  • Japanese Knotweed – An extremely strong and aggressive plant. It spreads rapidly by underground rhizomes. The plant has bamboo like stems and large bright green leaves. Eliminate as much of root system as possible when removing to slow the spread. It will reoccur so continue to monitor its presence.
  • Ragweed – A plant which produces pollen in August. The pollen may cause severe respiratory duress to many people. Leaves are fern-like, and feathery green. Flowers are yellow and long streamer-like. Plants can be hand-pulled, preferably before they flower.

Do not put these plants in the compost piles when you remove them. Bag them and place in dumpster.

If you need further help in identifying these plants, please seek out a Garden Neighbor in your zone or email the garden committee at

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