How to Grow Burdock
Burdock (Arctium lappa and Arctium minus ) is considered a common biennial weed in much of North America, where nitrogen-rich soils cause it to thrive and spread rather rampantly. Burdock is not highly prized for its appearance. Growing as much as 10 feet tall, it has a frankly weedy appearance, with large floppy leaves. In the first year, the leaves remain close to the ground, then a tall flower stalk shoots up in the second year to produce purple flowers and thistle-like seed burrs.
It is a common plant to see in untended pastures and along roadsides, and it self-seeds readily. The seed pods dry into velcro-like burrs that cling to everything—including your clothing and pet's hair.
But burdock also has a surprising number of culinary and herbal uses. Its roots, sweet but pungent in flavor, are commonly used in cooked dishes or as a flavoring in teas. In Asian cooking, burdock (Gobo root) is commonplace. The immature stalks are also sometimes consumed—they are said to resemble artichoke in flavor. The young leaves can be also used in salads or in cooked dishes.
Burdock is also known as a medicinal food; meaning it nourishes the body and offers deep nutritive health to the body, notably the liver and urinary tract and skin.
In warm climates, burdock can be planted from seed in the fall. In colder climates, it is normally planted in the spring. Burdock is a fast-growing plant that will achieve its full height by end of summer. Harvesting of the roots can begin about 90 days after germination.
|Botanical Name||Arcrtium lappa|
|Common Name||Burdock, greater burdock, common burdock, gobo|
|Size||6–10 feet tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun to part shade|
|Soil Type||Sandy, well-drained soil|
|Soil pH||6.6–7.5 (neutral)|
|Hardiness Zones||2–11 (USDA)|
How to Plant Burdock
Burdock can be cultivated as an edible herb in almost any garden soil, where ideal conditions can make it grow quite tall. Be aware that once established, this plant can be hard to eradicate. Burdock has deep tap roots that absorb copious amounts of nutrients from the soil, so it is best planted away from other deep-rooted vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, carrots, and beets. It makes a better companion for asparagus and legumes.
It will grow well in part shade, so burdock is a good choice for areas of a landscape that don't see full sun, such as in the shade of a large tree. Stratification of the seeds before planting will help germination, which can otherwise be erratic. Once plants are established, seeding is not necessary—burdock will self-seed quite readily. For the fewest problems, grow burdock in an area where self-seeding is not a problem. This will ensure endless crops of seeds and roots for years to come.
Burdock will do equally well in full sun or part shade, but it has a preference for some shade.
This plant will do well in almost any soil, but if you want to harvest the roots, sandy loam is best. The roots can extend as much as 3 feet into the ground, and harvesting can be very hard if the soil is dense and packed.
Burdock almost never needs additional watering if your region is getting some regular rainfall. A total of 1 inch every two weeks is perfectly sufficient.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant does well in all temperature and humidity conditions throughout North America.
This is not a plant you should feed, as it becomes almost too vigorous in soils high in nitrogen.
There are two forms of edible burdock commonly grown. In addition to Arctium lappa, sometimes known as greater burdock, common burdock (Actium minum) is a prevalent plant across North America. It can be hard to tell the difference between these plants, but common burdock is slightly smaller, its flowers do not have stalks, and the main stems are hollow rather than solid. Both plants have similar uses.
Young leaves, stalks, and roots of burdock all have culinary and medicinal uses, but the best harvesting occurs early in the season, before the plant has become too large. Young leaves can be clipped from the plant beginning in mid-summer for use in salads or cooking, much the way spinach is used.
If you want to use the roots, wait until the end of the plant' first year (or early in its second year) to dig up the plant and remove the roots. This is best done after moisture has been applied to the soil, as burdock has a very deep, large taproot. This taproot needs to be dug out with a spade or garden fork. Do not attempt to pull the root, as it will usually break off partway down the root, and you will be left with a stub. The roots can be used in many recipes—boiled, roasted, or fried. Wash the roots very well to remove all loose dirt or sand before drying. The roots also need to be chopped or sliced before drying, as they become rock hard once dry.
The seeds are generally harvested at the end of the second year, at the point where the seed pods form burrs with velcro-like hooks. Seeds should be removed from their prickly outer coating and then dried before storage. Look them over well for hidden insects. The seeds are often used in folk remedies as a pain reliever for ailments such as toothache and arthritis.
Herbalists have a wide range of uses for burdock, though medicinal uses should be supervised. Burdock can be used for skin issues, both from within and applied directly to the surface of the skin. Fresh burdock leaves (either first or second year) can be lightly steamed and then applied as a poultice to draw out infection and speed healing. Burdock seed tincture should not be used by the home herbalist due to its strong efficacy. Tinctures are not safe to ingest while pregnant, or for those with certain medical issues, so consult with a doctor before using.
Once a patch of burdock is established, it's somewhat rare to intentionally propagate it, since the plant self-seeds so readily. If you do want to share plants or create additional burdocks, collect the seeds from the burrs, which ripen at the end of the plant's second year. The seeds can be planted immediately or saved until the following spring.
How to Grow Burdock From Seed
Plant burdock seeds about 1/2 inch deep and at least 8 inches apart. Keep the soil moist until germination, which takes no more than seven days. Once the seeds sprout, almost no care is required. The roots will be ready for harvest in about 90 days, though young leaves can be picked much earlier.
Common Pests and Diseases
When a plant earns a reputation as a weed, it usually is fairly immune to diseases and pests. Burdock is no exception. Common pests such as slugs, aphids, and mites may affect burdock, but they rarely kill the plant. Somewhat unique to burdock is the fondness that four-lined bugs have for it. These pests can do serious damage to leaves, then overwinter to resume their attack the following spring. Neem oil is the best treatment for four-lined bugs.
Growing Burdock: The Complete Guide to Plant, Grow and Harvest Burdock
I have to admit that when my wife said she wanted seeds to start growing burdock, I thought she meant a different plant. I have always considered burdock a weed that is a menace wherever it grows, and I have even sprayed it a few times to get rid of it.
Now that we’ve been growing burdock for a few years, I’m a convert. Burdock is a wonder herb in my book. Not only is it seriously good for you, but more versatile than any other plant I know. It can be used in so many medicinal preparations, both internally and externally. On top of that, the roots are tasty.
Burdock has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and contains compounds that are antioxidants. You can eat the roots boiled, sautéed or roasted. You’ll often find burdock leaves in Japanese cuisine and Native Americans use the dried roots in winter stews.
There are about ten types of burdock, but only two are commonly vated. Once you can identify burdock, you’ll see it everywhere.
If you have seen g root in the grocery store, this is another name for burdock. Gobo comes from Japanese cuisine where both the burdock leaves, roots, and stems are used extensively.
Great Burdock can grow to about nine feet tall, particularly when the plant is ring. The stalks are solid. The flowers are flat-topped and grow in clusters that look like thistles.
Common burdock is smaller than great burdock, and the flowers are either stalkless or have very short stalks. Unlike great burdock, the stems are hollow. When the plants are big, this is the easiest way to tell the difference between the two types.
How to Grow Burdock
Burdock grows well in zones 2-10 and is cold hardy. In most zones, it’s considered a weed that self-seeds.
Sun and Soil Requirements
Plant burdock in loamy soil with a neutral pH between 6.6-7.5. You need soft, loose soil to harvest the roots. Burdock roots can be deep, so if you have solid, compacted soil, you’ll find getting to them difficult. I’ve had success with mixing a bit of sand and wood chips into the soil to keep it loose. This way the root is easier to harvest.
One of the reasons burdock root is so full of minerals is because of the depth at which the wild plant grows. That’s a blessing and a curse come harvest time, so prepare your soil well.
urdock is partial to or part shade.
When to Plant Burdock
Plant in spring when the soil temperatures are getting warm in temperate regions after the risk of frost has passed. In warm areas, plant in the fall.
Where to Plant Burdock
Once you plant burdock on your property you will notice it popping up everywhere. This is because the seed bur sticks to everything that comes into contact with it. Keep that in mind if you have pets.
In fact, the biggest challenge to growing burdock is keeping it contained. You can snip the burs before they form and you may also want to grow them in a contained, fenced area.
Try to plant burdock where you are happy for it to self-seed and grow continuously, then you don’t have to bother collecting seeds.
Seed or Cuttings?
Seeds, seeds and more seeds. If there’s one thing you can rely on from burdock, its’s seeds. If you have wild burdock, you have probably picked the burs (seeds) from your cat, dog or child’s clothing. You can buy seeds or harvest some wild (just make sure you’ve identified the plant correctly) or from a friend’s plant. Remove the seeds from the prickly outer layer and dry.
Cover seeds with about 1/2″ of soil and tap down lightly. Being the prolific plant it is, seeds will germinate in as little as 7 days. Keep the soil damp while the seed germinates.
Give growing burdock 6-8 inches between plants and 24-36 inches between rows.
Caring for Burdock
You can give your growing burdock a boost with an all-purpose fertilizer if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
As long as the soil is loamy and well fertilized, the only other thing to remember with burdock is to water it regularly. It takes a fair amount of water to grow big, healthy roots, so give it lots to drink. Just don’t overwater or the root may rot if it sits in pools of water.
If you don’t want the plant to self-seed, snip off the flowers before they dry.
Common Problems and Solutions for Growing Burdock.
Burdock is hardy and is not bothered by too many pests, but here are a few things to watch for.
Four Lined Plant Bug
This bug damages the leaves to the point the leaf will wither and die. It will eat away the flesh of the leaf, leaving hollow spots. It overwinters eggs on the plant and comes on strong in the spring. Use neem oil to control it, although it is adept at avoiding sprays so keep an eye on numbers.
You will find very few insects bother burdock other than the four-lined plant bug. If you’re growing burdock for the root, then I wouldn’t worry about the bugs at the top too much.
There are few plants out there that slugs don’t like to nibble, and burdock is no exception. Use your favorite slug control method to keep them at bay.
At some point, every garden gets aphids. Luckily, they’re easy to control. Look for clusters of green or yellow bugs and spray them with a blast of water. If you plan to eat the leaves, spray with neem oil to keep aphids away without contaminating your harvest.
Spider mites are another common garden pest. You’ll usually notice the tiny little critters in their masses of webbing. Use neem oil to control.
Companion Plants for Burdock
Because burdock has such a long taproot, it pulls up nutrients from deeper in the soil, so companion plants should be anything with shallow roots, such as:
Don’t plant with deep-rooted vegetables or they will compete with burdock for nutrients. You will also disturb vegetable roots if you harvest the burdock first, given the depth of burdock roots. Less-than-ideal companions include:
How to Harvest and Use Burdock
Burdock is a biennial which means it grows for two years before dying. Roots are typically ready 90-120 days after planting, and leaves are ready whenever you are. Harvest the root in the first year in autumn or the second year in spring. Roots can grow deep, so this is where a deep, loamy soil is handy.
You can either dig straight down to pull up the roots or dig a trench alongside the root to pull it sideways.
Use leaves like spinach. The roots can be boiled, roasted, or fried and is used in many recipes.
Health-wise, burdock is used for a range of things, from detoxification, addressing skin problems, as a liver tonic or for issues connected with premenstrual symptoms. Lightly steam the leaves and then apply as a poultice to draw out infection of cuts and skin damage.
Burdock is a wonderful plant that’s easy to grow, has impressive health benefits and a tasty flavor. Give it a go because it is hard to mess this one up. What other plant lets you eat the roots, leaves, stalks and can be used as a medicinal powerhouse?
If you’re serious about self-sustainability, this is one plant to consider growing due to the multitude of different ways it can be used.
Do you have any recipes or medicinal concoctions to share with us on how to use your burdock leaves or roots?
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Burdocks in the late summer of their first year. When the first year plant is 3 months old it is ready to harvest. These are perfect for harvesting roots.
(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Burdock, but just finding the plant and using the root, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site for the Burdock Root.)
Greater Burdock(Arctium lappa). There are many types of Dock plants, but the dock with the burrs that cling to your cloths are the ones you want for the roots - but not when you see burs on them. It is a two year plant (Biennial), in the first year they send up big green Rhubarb looking leaves only, in the 2nd year they have the leaves with a central stalk that flowers and then creates the big marble sized burrs. The root is only good in the fall, or before, of the first year. By the second year they are woody and the flavor is poor, and full of rotted sections. In the first year, they are putting energy into the root for the second year. In the second year, the energy is being used up.
A lot of people would think having burdock in the yard would not be a good idea because of the burs. However, if you harvest after the first years' growth, and cut down the stalks of any you miss that start again in the second year, you won't have burs. This plant is grown in Japan as a food crop for the root.
Is the growing of this plant compatible with Natural farming, Ecoagriculture or Eco friendly agriculture, Ecological farming, Sustainable agriculture, Agroforestry or Agro-sylviculture and Permaculture: You can use Natural farming, no-till garden methods with this plant, but you will have to make sure that you have deep, soft loamy soil before you start. If you find the soils where you are growing them are becoming compacted, you will have to turn the soil to loosen it, otherwise you will get thin, multiple roots that are not good for food.
Seeds: For seeds, you have two choices. Gather some in the wild each fall, or grow your own. Like any plant, there are variations within the species. By growing from seeds found in different places, you might find some that you like better than others. It could be they taste better, it could be they grow straighter, smoother roots. If you do find a particularly good strain, growing seeds to preserve the strain would be a good idea. It is as simple as letting one of the plants come up in the second year, and harvest the seeds in the fall. Of course, that means you will have a plant with burs on it. If you have children or pets, or you want to make sure you don't get burs on yourself, simply put a small chicken wire fence around the second year plant. Three or four stakes around the plant that stand about 2 meters (6 feet) tall after being pounded in, and two layers of 1 meter (3 foot) chick wire wrapped around. To hold the chicken wire to the stakes, staple, or what I find is best and makes it easier to take down and save all the chicken wire is to use nylon cable ties. The burs are not a problem until fall of the second year, so you can do this late in the season. Once you get enough seeds, cut the plant down and put the rest of the plant in the garbage or out for the municipal leaf collection. You could put it in the compost pile, but the odds are good it will sprout Burdock the next year. To get the seeds, take burs, break them up gently with rubber gloves on, and black, crescent moon shaped seeds will fall out.
Soil & Site: They are super easy to grow, but to grow them with big straight roots takes some preparation. You need to have loose, loamy soil that is deep, 30 cm (12 inches) is the minimum, and 45 cm (18 inches) is about right. You need that depth, as the roots can get that long, and the more room they have, the better quality you get. Next, they really do need full sun. If you have half the day in shade, you will get half as much harvest. You need to have rich, moist soil that is high in nitrogen. This is one plant that responds remarkably to nitrogen. This plant absolutely loves composted manure, so each year before you plant, work composted manure deep into the soil. If you get everything right, you will get great quality roots that are up to 45 cm (18 inches) long or more by 2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter near the crown, and taper slowly down to the tip. If you don't get it right, you will get a mass of tiny rat's tail like roots that are basically useless for food.
Planting: Plant by spreading the seeds on the top of the soil, and using a rake, just rake around a little, tamp down lightly, and your done. You can save the seeds and plant in the spring or do it in the fall. If you do it in the fall, put down a thin layer of leaves for mulch. If you do it in the spring, plant early, and keep the seeds in a baggie in your freezer over winter.
Maintenance: Other than cutting them down in the fall of the first year and harvesting all the roots, there really is nothing to do. They are strong, fast growers, and the huge leaves tend to shade out weeds.
Harvesting: Start to harvest when the plant is three months old and has big leaves right into the fall of the first year. Done this way, you can have fresh Burdock root for a few months. Unless you are specifically trying to grow your own seeds, take every plant out at the end of the first year. The roots are no good for food in the second year, and will produce the burs which can get all over pets and clothes. To harvest, cut off the leaves about 10 cm (4 inches) from the ground and pull straight up if you have loose soil. If your soil has compacted, dig around the root deeply with a shovel to loosen the soil, then pull straight up.
Using: Burdock root is well regarded in the far east for being very healthy to eat. It does give you energy, and too much of it is like too much ginseng – you are wound tight, so don't overdo it by eating a lot every day. If you are a tired or low energy person, this is a good food to give you strength and energy without the nervousness of caffeine. It will keep in the fridge in the vegetable crisper for a week or two. Don't let it dry out or sit in water.
The flavor is so strong, that a little goes a long way. You can make tea out of it by simmering chopped, washed root for about 10 minutes in water and drinking straight up. I like it - the taste is wild and strong, but not bitter or unpleasant.
A traditional Eastern way of using it for tea is to lightly roast it after washing & chopping into small bits. You do not have to peel it, just wash it very well. You can peel it if you are not sure what condition it is in, or if the root skin is covered with small blemishes. The dark brown skin color is a contrast with the inside, which is a light, off-white color. Cut out any discolored sections. By the way, if you do peel it, you will need a fine, sharp peeler. Many peelers don't work well with the Burdock root. After roasting, put in sealed jars and keep out of light. Will keep for a long time this way. You can also slice it thin and dry in a vegetable drier and store.
The ways I use it regularly: Washed and chopped finely in soups in small amounts. It will give a robustness to the flavor, but not overwhelm it. Sort of the way parsnips add to soup, but the flavor is distinct. Another is sliced and added to stir-fry's. It is one of those flavors, that the more you have it, the more you come to like it. Of all the roots and tubers to eat, this is my personal favorite. In Japan, it is a regularly used food like we use carrots in the west.
- USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: zone 3 & higher(More information on hardiness zones)
- Soil pH: 4.6-7.8
- Plant Size: First year: low plant, no central stalk, large leaves on stems coming from plant center. Plant leaves are about 30 cm (12 inches) or less off the ground. Second Year: Plant forms a central stalk that can reach almost 3 meters (10 feet), but is usually around 1-2 meters (3 to 6 1/2 feet).
- Duration: Biennial
- Leaf Shape: Cordate (Heart shaped)
- Leaf Phyllotaxis (Arrangement) on branch: First year: Leaves come from same spot on the ground (basal leaves). Second year: Alternating on stalk.
- Leaf Size: up to 80 cm (32 inches) long
- Leaf Margin: Wavy,
- Leaf Notes: Leaf veins are obvious and recessed giving the leaf a quilted look. Starting from about halfway down the leaf, the central vein and stem is a purple-red.
- Flowers: Purple flowers on the ends of the green immature burs.
- Fruit: Little, black, crescent moon shaped seeds inside the marble sized bur that clings to cloths.
- Habitat: All over - fields, waste areas, disturbed soils, river and creek banks. But not in highly shaded areas. Likes rich, moist soils, and grows much larger if the soil is nutrient rich - especially nitrogen. Because of this, huge specimens can be found where there is farm animal manure.
- Recipe search on the web here (Google search) and here (Bing search).
- Pictures on the web here (Google images) and here (Bing images).
- Interactive USDA distribution map and plant profile here.
- The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) distribution map here. BONAP map color key here.
Second year Burdock. This is NOT good for harvesting the roots. Gathering the burs for seeds when ripe yes, but not for the root for eating. Compare this to the ones at the top of the page. (By: Christian Fischer CC BY-SA 3.0)
The ripe bur up close containing the seeds. (By: Michael Apel CC BY-SA 3.0)
The seeds inside the bur. They can range from this color to solid black. (Steve Hurst, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)
Roots prepared for cooking or chopping up and drying. (By: Michel Chauvet CC BY-SA 3.0)
"A dish containing a Japanese appetizer, kinpira gobō, consisting of sauteed gobō (Greater burdock root) and ninjin (carrot), with a side of kiriboshi daikon (sauteed boiled dried daikon). This dish is a small appetizer that is served before the entree. Photo taken at Takahashi, Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo. The small blue dish contains sliced cucumber and the mug contains green tea." (By: ayustety from Tokyo, Japan CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Learn how to grow burdock in this guide. Growing burdock is easy and it grows wild, almost like a weed in zones with favorable growing conditions.
USDA Zones — 3-9
Other Names— Arctium, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Arctium tomentosum, Bardana, Bardana-minor, Bardanae Radix, Bardane, Bardane Comestible, Bardane Géante, Bardane Majeure, Beggar’s Buttons, Burdock Root Extract, Burr Seed, Clotbur, Cocklebur, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox’s Clote, Gobo, Glouteron, Hardock, Harebur, Herbe du Teigneux, Lappa, Niu Bang Zi, Thorny Burr.
Burdock (Arctium Lappa) is a beautiful ornamental herb (also used as a vegetable) that has medicinal properties. It is a wild plant but can be grown in the garden. In the kitchen, its young leaves are used raw in salads or cooked like spinach. As for the roots and flower spike, they taste like artichoke and used in various oriental cuisines.
How to Grow Burdock
Propagation and Planting Burdock
Planting can be done in spring in cool and temperate regions. In warm climates, sow seeds in the fall.
Sow seeds in seed tray or directly on the ground and cover with 2 cm of fine soil. Work well on planting area, till the soil to a depth of about 50 cm so that the roots will penetrate easily and grow well. Add lot of aged manure or compost decomposed and clean the weeds and debris around planting area.
Transplant seedlings grown in tray to their final location by providing a spacing of about 20 cm between each. Once the last frost date has passed. As for growing burdock in pots, it must be avoided, because of its deep roots.
Requirements for Growing Burdock (Gobo)
Growing burdock is better in location that remains partially shaded. It grows well in areas with mild winter. The ideal growing temperature remains between 50 – 77 F (10 C – 25 C), although the plant can withstand low temperatures during winter (aerial parts can die, but normally the root supports low temperatures).
Cultivate preferably in light, deep, well-drained and fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant tolerates a soil pH in the range of 4.6 – 7.8, ideally a pH of 6.6 to 7.5 is better.
Water moderately. Irrigate in order to keep the soil slightly moist but avoid keeping the soil waterlogged.
Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.
Burdock can become an invasive plant. To prevent the plant from spreading spontaneously, do not allow the plant to flourish. Cut the flowers before they fade to prevent seeding and seed spilling. Other way to counter its invasiveness is to growing burdock in confined space.
Mulch at the base to keep the soil moist and fresh and avoid the growth of weeds.
Budock is an aggressive plant that does not necessarily need fertilizer. To give plant a boost it can be fertilized occasionally with balanced fertilizer.
Pests and Diseases
Burdock is resistant to pests and diseases but can be attacked by slugs. Use coffee grounds and eggshells as natural barrier against slugs.
Also Read: How to Kill Slugs
Harvesting of the burdock or gobo roots can be done in 10 weeks after planting but these can be left in the soil for growing longer.
Burdock leaves are harvested from June to September or as and when required.
Zone burdock growing
How to Cultivate Burdock
By Judy Wolfe
Greater burdock (Arctium lappa) and its more widespread relative, common burdock (A. minus), arrived in America with European and Asian immigrants who grew these plants as root vegetables. Greater burdock now grows wild in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. It's also cultivated commercially -- as gobo -- for culinary and medicinal use. Mature roots are mother lodes of the antioxidants phenolic acid, quercetin and luteolin. Common burdock, found wild in Sonoma County, has spread to every state but Florida. It's a noxious weed in Colorado and Wyoming. Cultivate only A. lappa if you introduce burdock into your garden.
Choose a sunny to partially shady site large enough to accommodate the plants' mature 6-foot height and 3-foot width. Greater burdock has proved its tolerance for the Bay Area's winter temperatures. In other parts of the United States, it survives to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 3a. A well-drained site with light, loamy or sandy-loam soil encourages maximum root growth.
Prepare your burdock bed for seeding. Till the soil to a depth of at least 2 feet to accommodate the plants' long, carrotlike roots. Enrich the soil with compost. Amend heavy clay by mixing in drainage-improving garden sand. Burdock isn't fussy about soil pH. It tolerates acidity to 4.6 and alkalinity to 7.8.
Soak your seeds in the container of water overnight to improve their germination rate. Sow them in late spring for a fall root harvest or as late as possible in fall for a spring or early summer harvest. Plant them to a 1/4-inch depth, 2 to 3 inches apart, in rows 1 foot apart. Cover the seeds loosely with soil. Water enough to keep the soil moist. Germination should occur within one to two weeks.
Weed carefully around the seedlings with a cultivating fork. When they reach 3 inches in height, thin them to stand 4 inches apart. Lift them gently from the soil with a trowel, discarding those with weak root systems. Close spacing produces mature plants with long, straight roots, according to the Plants for a Future website.
Continue regular watering and weeding. Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Prune young leaves with the stem clippers, and pull young shoots by hand. Eat them raw or cooked. Remove the flowers to prevent the plants from setting seed. Harvest the roots in about 10 weeks. Work around them with a spade until they lift without resistance.
- Burdock's sticky, burred seed pods attach to clothes and passing animals. Pruning the flowers prevents the seeds from invading other parts of the garden.
- Burdock seeds contain microscopic hairs. Inhaling the hairs may cause an allergic response. Cover your nose and mouth when handling the seeds.
Passionate for travel and the well-written word, Judy Wolfe is a professional writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate in advanced floral design. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology.
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