How to identify garden weeds

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Weeds are simply plants growing in the wrong place. This is worth remembering before you automatically reach for the weed killer or scythe. Some plants might be considered weeds by one gardener, who works hard to eradicate them, yet are admired by another, who may propagate them from seed, or buy them as fully grown plants at the garden center. Poppies (Papaver), for example, are plants that can be viewed as attractive, desirable cultivars or irritatingly pervasive weeds, depending on their location and the preference of the individual gardener. Identifying “weeds” and there specific behaviors can help a gardener determine whether to remove them or relocate them. Here is a quick guide to some common garden weeds.


Step One

Identify thistle. Thistle is a highly competitive weed once it sets up residence. Due to the size of its flower and its ability to compete for light, nutrients and moisture it can quickly overpower other plants. After the thistle plants die in heat of summer the ground is left bare and open for re-establishment other weeds in autumn. Thistle seed may remain viable in the soil for at least 9 years. The most effective herbicide control is at seedling and flowering stage.


Step Two

Identify poison ivy. Poison ivy is a very common perennial weed. It should be identified and removed quickly form traffic areas because it spreads quickly and causes allergic rashes in most people. Poison ivy can easily be identified by its infamous three leaves growth pattern.


Step Three

Identify dandelion. Every child loves to blow dandelion heads and dandelions are the best known and most familiar of all weeds. Dandelions have deep roots, which allow make them hardy plants, but spread through seeds. The wispy, yellow blooms soon turn into the cushiony, white seed heads that are ready to be carried by wind to new locations.


Step Four

Identify bindweed. Field bindweed is a creeping perennial from Europe. A member of the morning glory family, it reproduces by seed and its horizontal roots. The root systems are extensive and generally white in color. Flowers are round, white to pale pink and about 3/4 to 1 inch across. One plant can produce anywhere between 30 and 200 seeds, the number produced is variable on environmental conditions the seeds can retain potency in for 30 to 40 years in the soil.


Step Five

Identify ragweed. Ragweed the most hated of all weeds by allergy sufferers and is common during summer months.


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