Time to weed the ragweed

Where ragweed pollen comes from
Where ragweed pollen comes from
Massive growth of ragweed
Massive growth of ragweed

Don’t let this happen to you! A few plants with attractive foliage, a bit like tansy or chrysanthemum, in a little-visited corner turned into a Giant Pile of Ragweed. I should have known better.

I like goldenrod, and so does ragweed. It flourishes with the goldenrod, and flowers with the goldenrod. Goldenrod entertaining bees should have been my cue to check for ragweed. But I’m not the one in this household with allergies. I’m not the one sneezing all day. Instead, I’m the one who gets to yank all the ragweed out the ground.

Ragweed may not be nice to people, but it’s hardly evil. I can enjoy the smell, which has a husky, herby quality. It’s easy to control, you just have to actually get out there. Many birds eat the seeds, but there’s lots of other provender for them. So, sorry ragweed, you have to go.


3 thoughts on “Time to weed the ragweed

  1. I’m trying to mobilize Ontario allergy sufferers to ask for ragweed control like 21 Quebec municipalities are doing. The Quebec Lung Assc’n (QLA) and others promote and support municipal control, prompting municipalities to educate people to pull out the plant, get major property owners to deal with it on their properties, coordinate community groups to have ragweed “pull out” days and spray roadside vegetation with a salt water solution which dessicates ragweed flowers without harming most other plants.

    The QLA says the socio-economic cost from visiting doctors, buying medication, missing work etc. is at least $175 million in the province. Montreal did a big study and closely correlated allergies in young people to ragweed growing within 300 – 1000 meters of their residences. And they are doing something about it – Quebec City, Gatineau, Victoriaville … Why not Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton? The PQ program is low cost, creates community based initiatives, and improves the quality of life.

    I have a lot of information and expert contacts and wonder if anyone is interested in supporting this or coordinating some sort of media. Nobody in Ontario seems to know much about the Quebec initiatives – big barrier at the border? Maybe because most info is in French?

    My email is jack.sloggett@gmail.com .

  2. When I was pulling the ragweed up, it did occur to me that I was doing my neighbors a favor, but Quebec isn’t exactly next door to Boston. I’m not sure I can do much to help you spread the word.

    1. Given that Ragweed is a huge public health issue in Boston too, copying the Quebec control program would be a benefit to all. It just needs somebody to get passionate and organize it.

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