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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
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Burr Cucumber

Master Naturalist, Sara Hostetter, brought in an aggressive weed named Burr Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus). It is a vine she claims has inched its way into most of the spaces of her neighbor's garden. Burr Cucumber is a vine capable of growing 15-25 feet with star shaped leaves that resemble a cucumber plant and yellow male flowers in the later part of the season. After flowering it forms a fuzzy green oval pod growing 2" long at is covered with spines.

This is an annual weedy vine so the primary preventive practice is to pull, mow or spray before seed formation. Glyphosate can be used to kill off the annual weed but weather conditions and surrounding plantings must be considered before a chemical treatment is made. Do not spray on windy days or near bodies of water. Be cognizant of trees and other landscape plantings before spraying. While working in the industry, I always used a large piece of cardboard to prevent drift. With glyphosate, complete saturation of the plant is not necessary because it is a systemic chemical taken up into the plant. Ultimately the weed dies because growth enzymes are inhibited.

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