In early summer, most yards see their strongest growth in the form of weeds. Whether these weeds grow in the lawn, garden or flower bed, they can dominate any green space if you let them get out of control.
The best way to attack weeds is with some carefully applied spot treatments. Safer® Brand Fast Acting Weed & Grass Killer, with its easy-spray bottle, can do the trick without dousing your yard in nasty chemicals. Instead, Safer® uses natural potassium salts, and you’ll see effects on unwanted plants within a few hours of application.
Of course, the first trick of weed control is actually identifying the plant as a weed. And for some people, certain plants aren’t weeds at all!
Still, we assembled a Weed Control Guide in an effort to help you ID common weeds and show you what you can do to destroy them.
This weed is known for growing in compacted soil, so if you see it in your garden, then it’s time to aerate your soil. Identify it by its teardrop shaped leaves and its small clover-like yellow flower.
As soon as you touch this stuff, you’ll know it. Catchweed Bedstraw is a plant that readily mingles with other plants and, most notably, seems to stick to everything it touches including gardening gloves, animal fur and clothing. Try treating Catchweed with a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring. If you’re too late you’ll just have to pull it all summer long.
When crabgrass is cut to the height of your regular lawn, it can be hard to identify. But a few days later, you can see it from across your yard thanks to its angular growth and branching. Spot treatments and targeted herbicides work best on crabgrass.
Also called Ground-Ivy, Creeping Charlie looks cute enough – green with little pink flowers – but if you let it go, it will climb over every plant in your flowerbed. This weed loves shady areas and sparse lawns. Try pulling this weed out after a soaking rain.
This plant starts out as a prickly octopus-like growth close to the ground, but then pops into a tall weed with pink flowers. Butterflies and bees love it, but you won’t! This thistle is incredibly difficult to eradicate, and it often takes a whole season to do it with a weed screen cloth. For temporary relief, mow it down and spot treat with Safer®’s Weed & Grass Killer.
Your best bet against these yellow-flowered monsters is to vigorously dig them up or spot-treat. Notorious for their ability to survive, these weeds also spread easily from yard to yard with their floating seeds. There is a positive to dandelions though: Their young leaves are great to add to your salad!
Sometimes called “nutgrass,” this plant produces thick, stiff grass in groups of three. That isn’t bad in itself, but the problem comes from the fact that nutsedges grow faster than lawn grass. Many herbicides have limited effectiveness on nutsedge, so smothering or pulling are good options. When properly pulled, you’ll find tubers at the base of the plant.
This ugly, wrinkle-leafed plant has nothing to do with the banana-like fruit from the tropics. Instead, this weed loves to take root in tightly packed soil. You should dig this plant out and aerate your soil to keep it from coming back.
Poison Ivy earns its name for the skin rashes it inflicts on unwary gardeners and unsuspecting hikers. Look for sets of three waxy leaves – green in the spring and summer and slowly turning brownish red until the end of the growing season. A mix of pulling and herbicide can control this beast. Just be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves, and then launder them immediately after you’ve pulled the ivy.
You’ll spot these popping up on the edge of our garden or in pastures with damp, nutrient-rich soil. Stinging Nettles can be recognized by their serrated leaves and microscopic barbs that cause skin irritation for hours. Since they can be spread by tilling and plowing, carefully remove them by hand.
Sticking close to the ground, these weeds are certainly cute with their pretty purple flowers. The problem is that they spread fast thanks to their self-fertilizing seeds. At the very least, you can spot-treat mild infestations.
White clover will grow where competition for space is weak, including a low-nitrogen garden. Look for a cloverleaf formation and a white flower. A strong dose of fertilizer will knock these back – talk about a great solution for weeds!
Are there any other weeds you want to see added to the Weed Control Guide? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll help you with a solution!