How much do you know about the "weed bank"?  Some startling numbers...

  It’s easy to understand how weeds continue to appear, despite control efforts, by taking a look at weed seed production and survival rates. Each pigweed plant that goes to seed, for example, produces just short of 118,000 seeds — which on the average will survive in the soil for at least 10 years.

  A single lambsquarter plant will produce 72,000 seeds that will remain viable for an average of 40 years. Common dandelions are not nearly as prolific with each plant producing a mere 15,000 seeds that remain viable for just 6 years. Weed scientists frequently refer to existing weed seeds in the soil as the “Weed Seed Bank.”

  Virtually every garden soil has a weed seed bank with varying weed species and seed numbers. With every tilling of the soil, a percentage of the dormant weed seeds are exposed to the soil surface, where they promptly germinate and grow.


Donald Tapio/ for The Reflector