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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Weeds as Indicators of Soil Conditions (May 30, 2018)
Weeds can be used to help evaluate soil conditions. Some weeds grow best in certain areas and can be used to indicate the presence of certain elements or nutrients, low or high pH, compacted soil, course or fine textured soil, High or low light intensity and salt. Weeds are one of the most reliable indicators of damaging salt conditions. Some have “salt” in their name such as: Salt grass (Distichlis stricta), Wright Salt Bush (Atriplex wrightii), Salt Marsh Sand Spurry (Spergularia sp.), Salt Cedar (Tamarix sp.), Alkali Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum), Alkali Mallow (Sida physocalyx) etc. Other weeds that thrive in saline conditions include:Povertyweed (Iva axillaris), Curley Dock (Rumex crispus), Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), Purslane (Portulaca sp.),and others.

“this might be a little too salty“
Cartoon: J.Peña and B.Tickes

To contact Barry Tickes go to:

For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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