Weeds are a huge problem for any gardener. It always seems like weeds grow better than the plants and grass you actually want. If only weeds were considered attractive!

Since they are not, you need to learn how to treat and prevent weeds in order to keep your garden and yard in top condition.

What is a weed?

Weeds are wild plants that grow where you don’t want them. They compete with the plants you want to grow for sunlight, space, and nutrients.

It’s a pretty nasty feeling to work hard on a garden bed and leave it overwhelmed with unwanted weeds.

There are different wild plants that grow naturally in different parts of the country. Your climate and geography will influence the weeds that grow in your garden.

Here are some of the most common weeds and how you can identify and treat them.

Identify common weeds

Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

How to identify it: Chickweed has oval leaves and small white flowers. It is most often found in early spring.

How to treat it: Lewis Peters from Lawn Company Online suggests, “Weedkillers can be very effective on this type of weed. However, if chickweed grows near other plants and vegetables, this may not be an option. If you prefer a no-weed option, carefully remove them by hand from the root and stem before they have a chance to flower and seed.

Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinalis)

How to identify it: Dandelions have leaves with sharp teeth and large, round yellow flowers.

How to treat it: According to Peters, “Dandelions can be controlled by both weedkillers and non-chemical methods. There are many commonly available herbicides that will easily treat dandelions; however, the chemicals are not selective. If you go the non-chemical route, remove them from the root and stem and prevent their growth by applying about 3 inches of mulch.

Clover (Trifolium)

How to identify it: Clover is a very common weed with small white flowers and petal shaped leaves. Each stem grows three leaves with a white crescent shape on each leaf.

How to treat it: Clover is a very popular food for deer, so if there are deer in your area, they should help control your clover. If you need to chemically remove clover, nitrogen will do the trick. Look for a lawn fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.

Lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium Album)

How to identify it: Lamb’s quarters have triangular or diamond-shaped green leaves with a serrated serrated edge. They grow small flowers in light green clusters.

How to treat it: Since lamb quarter reproduces by seed only, the key to treating it is to pull it out before it has a chance to go to seed. Hand pulling is your best bet for total eradication.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma Hederacea)

How to identify it: Creeping Charlie has scalloped edges, a square stem, and purplish-blue flowers that bloom in spring.

How to treat it: According to Carlee Linden, a pest control expert for BestBusiness.com, “Getting rid of Creeping Charlie is notoriously tricky. The plant is propagated by seed, rooting and rhizomes. Homeowners can accidentally spread this invasive weed just by mowing their lawn.

Linden recommends using a lawn-friendly weedkiller. Hand pulling grass is also an option, but you need to be thorough. “If a rhizome is left in the ground, the weed will come back. You will need to always remove any new stems that appear, but after a while the weed will stop growing, ”says Linden.

Moss (Bryophyta)

How to identify it: Moss is a short, fluffy plant with shallow roots. It grows most often in shaded areas. It can be beautiful to grow on rocks and trees, but it can be an unwanted weed in your garden.

How to treat it: According to Linden, “Homeowners can use dish soap to get rid of the foam patches. Simply mix 2 to 4 ounces of dish soap in a gallon of water and spray the mixture directly onto the suds. Once the moss turns brown or yellow, remove it from the garden using a rake or by hand pulling it out.

Crabgrass (Digitaria)

How to identify it: Crabgrass is a grass weed. It features thin blades that grow from a central rod. The branches tend to be parallel to the ground and form a star pattern.

How to treat it: Regular mowing should prevent crabgrass from going to seed and spreading. The best way to prevent crabgrass from regrowing is to have a lush lawn. Crabgrass doesn’t like to compete for nutrients and is less likely to grow among strong, healthy grass.

Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea)

How to identify it: Purslane is actually a succulent, but it grows frequently as a weed in North America. It is able to adapt and survive in many different climates and environments. You can identify purslane by its 3-6 inch tall stem with thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are light green with a red tint around the edges. The stems are also red.

How to treat it: Each purslane plant can produce over 2 million seeds which are easily spread to invade large areas. It must be pulled out and removed completely. Even a small piece of a stem or leaf can re-root and grow new plants, which can then multiply quickly.

Wild onion (Allium)

How to identify it: Wild onion resembles grass and resembles chives with a white bulb and a distinct onion smell. If you mow wild onion, your nose will instantly tell you that you have found it. They appear most often in autumn and winter.

How to treat it:It is not recommended to remove the wild onion by hand. The bulb design makes it more likely that you will pull the grassy top out and leave the bulb and roots behind. Instead, treat locally or treat your entire lawn with a chemical weed killer.

Garlic mustard (Alliaria Petiolata)

How to identify it: Garlic mustard is a cluster of leaves in the shape of a rosette. The leaves smell of garlic when crushed.

How to treat it: Garlic mustard should be pulled out by the roots. Be sure to remove the uprooted plant from your garden as it can continue to produce seeds and spread, even after uprooting.

Tips for preventing weeds in your garden

The best way to deal with weeds is to keep them from growing to begin with. Here are the top tips for preventing weeds:

Patti Estep is an avid gardener and blogger at Fireplace and Vine. She says, “In my opinion, you really need to get them under control, which usually means removing them regularly before they have a chance to ripen and go to seed. Sometimes if I run out of time and see a weed, like a dandelion in bloom, I at least tear off the flower head so that it doesn’t go to seed before I can pull it out.

Mulching in the spring can help reduce the number of new weeds that sprout that season.

Having a lush, healthy lawn helps keep weeds from growing among your grass. Zach Hendrix, GreenPal co-founder, says, “The best way to deal with common weeds is to keep a healthy, thick lawn to cut them. Zach suggests familiarizing yourself with the makeup of your soil and the fertilizer needed to balance it well. Healthy grass leaves less room for weeds to grow.

Also make sure you are aware of how much light your yard or garden receives relative to your plants’ needs. Linden suggests, “If you have a spot in your yard that gets less than 3-4 hours of sunlight per day, be sure to prune any shrubs or tree branches and allow more sunlight to reach those areas. If your garden just isn’t getting the sunlight it needs, consider planting shade tolerant grass.

Weeds can be a huge eyesore and a problem for any gardener. These tips will help you deal with the weeds you have and prevent new weeds from growing in your garden. You can also consult these low maintenance landscaping ideas for your yard.


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