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Say Goodbye To Prickly Lettuce Weeds With This Simple Yet Effective Hack

Say Goodbye To Prickly Lettuce Weeds With This Simple Yet Effective Hack

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Ever had one of those moments when you proudly walk through your garden only to find it has been overrun with those prickly lettuce weeds? Ugh, I sure have! 

I was so annoyed by these pesky weeds. I mean, I just wanted to enjoy my morning coffee without feeling like I was navigating through a jungle of thorns. 

It got to the point where I couldn’t distinguish between my plants and the weeds; and that’s when I told myself “enough is enough, I have to do something to get rid of them.” I even joked with my neighbor that I was about to burn them all (kidding… mostly).

But seriously, dealing with prickly lettuce weeds can be such a headache. They’re tough, stubborn, and seem to pop up overnight. 

If you’re as fed up with these prickly nuisances as I was, stick around. I’m going to share some tried-and-true methods to get rid of them for good.

Hand-picking Them Should Be Your First Option

Prickly lettuce weeds spread super-quickly through their seeds (not through a root system like most weeds). 

It’s a biennial, meaning it takes two years to mature and bloom. In its first fall, it forms a small rosette that hides well among other plants. 

This little trickster is small and leafy with no stalk at this stage, but you can look for spiny leaves with deep lobes on the edges that form a “head”. 

Once you spot them, grab a trowel or a soil knife and yank them out during the first season. I learned that it is much easier to tackle them before they have a chance to spread their seeds everywhere.

When I saw my first giant prickly lettuce, I knew I had to act fast. I used a trowel or shovel to dig deep and get the taproot out. You can use weeders if you want, but I like to do it the old-fashioned way (to feel their roots ripping apart!)

What I didn’t do (but should have), is pull them out of the wet ground (I was impatient and completely forgot to wet the ground). If you have a lot of them, dig out as many plants and roots as you can by hand, then till the area.  

Related: 6 Weed Control Tips You Need To Banish Weeds From Your Garden For Good

Stay Clear Of Harmful Herbicides 

I know it’s tempting to go after herbicides once those annoyances start taking over your garden, but hold your horses for now! 

Wondering why?

For starters, those herbicides can do more harm than good. They can contaminate local water supplies, harm wildlife, and kill plants you didn’t mean to target.

According to the University of New Hampshire, even “organic” labels don’t guarantee safety.

Next, you should know that prickly lettuce is surprisingly resilient and often tougher than herbicides in many parts of the US. 

Most farmers who have to deal with prickly lettuce have found that this bothersome plant quickly adapts to herbicide formulas, thus requiring them to constantly change their methods. 

Let’s not forget the scary part – some commonly used herbicides might even be cancer-causing for humans. 

Most commercial herbicides are glyphosate-based, and studies suggest that exposure to this compound might be carcinogenic. 

The bottom line is – hand-pick those weeds and only use herbicides as a last resort! 

Also read: Get Rid Of Driveway Weeds For Good With This Simple Solution