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The Most Common Weeds in Garden and How To Keep Your Yard Weed-Free

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Close-up of a person's hand firmly grasping and uprooting weeds from the soil.

Spring has sprung and you’re sitting down to watch the opening weekend of the MLB. With beer in hand, the first thing that hits you is how good the fields look. How do the groundskeepers create such incredible patterns on the field?

The good news is striping a lawn is in fact very easy! No aliens nor graduates from Hogwarts chanting, ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ are needed.

Follow along to find out everything you need to know when it comes to striping a lawn so you can achieve that MLB look!

To get the creative juices flowing, look at this striping seen in Major League Baseball Stadiums.

What Are The Most Common Garden Weeds?

Before we get into specific species, it’s important to understand the different groups of common weeds that you could find in your garden. There are three main groups of garden weeds:

  • Perennial weeds: robust weeds that live for more than two years and are strong enough to last through the winter and regrow.

  • Biennial weeds: weeds that can live more than one year, but wouldn’t last two.

  • Annuals: weeds that only live for one year, but can reproduce through new weed seeds.

Now that you know the different categories of weeds, you can take a look at the types of weeds with names below. We’ve also included images for each weed so, in the future, you can identify weeds by photo.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Vibrant yellow dandelion flowers blooming in a grassy field

Dandelions are a type of persistent perennial grassy weed with a deep root system that can be difficult to remove. Characterized by a green stem and small yellow flowers that produce fluffy seed heads, this weed is very easy to spot in your garden.

The main issue with this perennial weed is the seed germination from the dandelion seeds and bright yellow flowers that spread easily in the wind. If you don’t manage these weeds, you’ll quickly be left with a dandelion infestation on your hands.

Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

You can spot Bindweed by looking out for twinning vines and creeping stems that climb and wrap themselves around other plants in your garden. These are a particular problem for many gardeners as they can stifle the growth of other plants in your garden.

Look out for arrow-shaped leaves and trumpet-shaped pink or white flowers or white or purple flowers.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

How to Plant and Grow Purslane | Gardener's Path https://gardenerspath.com/plants/herbs/grow-purslane/

Purslane is an annual weed that has light green, paddle-shaped leaves, and yellow flowers. This weed can spread extremely rapidly, smothering other small plants as it begins to dominate your garden.

When removing these you must be careful to remove the entire plant as it has the ability to regenerate from even the smallest stem fragments.

Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)

Redroot pigweed – Amaranthus retroflexus - Plant & Pest Diagnostics https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/redroot-pigweed-amaranthus-retroflexus

Pigweed, which may also hear be referred to as redroot or careless weed, is another persistent perennial grass that falls into the lawn weeds group.

The perennial plant often has a reddish tone to its leaves and stems, and can grow up to several feet tall if left unattended before going on to dominate your entire garden.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea or Creeping Charlie)

(creeping Charlie) – Glechoma hederacea - Plant & Pest  Diagnostics https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/ground-ivy-creeping-charlie-glechoma-hederacea

This creeping perennial weed, which also goes by the name of Creeping Charlie, has round, scalloped leaves with blue or purple flowers. The plant spreads out long stems to create dense mats of weeds across your lawn and flower beds.

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)

You have probably heard of this highly recognizable plant that’s known for causing skin irritation and allergic reactions. It’s largely found in North America and can be spotted by looking out for the three leaflets that can turn red, yellow, or orange in the fall.

It can be hard to prevent poison ivy, but it’s important to try as these plants spread quickly and can destroy native plants in your garden.

Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago Major)

Broadleaf Plantain is part of the family of broadleaf weeds that are commonly found in lawns and gardens. The broad, oval-shaped leaves are the defining characteristic of this weed which also has small flowers. Although this is considered a weed, it’s also been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties.

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Like a lot of perennial plants, the Canada Thistle has deep root systems which means you can’t just pull weeds to remove it completely. This is an invasive type of weed that can quickly take over large areas of your garden if left unchecked.

Look out for prickly leaves and purple buds to identify this type of weed in your garden, and be prepared for consistent weed control precautions if you want to get rid of them.

Common Ragweed (Ambrosia Artemisiifolia)

If you often get allergies after a day spent in the garden, it could be down to this lawn weed that’s notorious for triggering seasonal allergies. Common Ragweed is often found in North America and features dark green leaves sprouting amongst inconspicuous green flowers.

It’s best not to encourage dense growth of this weed as it can typically cause allergic reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing, respiratory problems, and nasal congestion.

Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)

Although Black Medic is considered a common lawn weed, it actually helps to capture atmospheric nitrogen which is beneficial to your garden. The main way to spot this leafy weed is by looking for the small flowers that resemble yellow sweet clover blooms within the bright green leaves.

Tips to Keep Your Garden Weed Free

No one wants to have a garden overrun with weeds so it’s important to keep your lawn grass well-maintained and put in place weed control measures where possible. Here are some top tips on how to keep your garden weed-free:

Start with healthy soil:

Starting with a base of healthy soil is the main way to encourage plant growth and keep weeds to a minimum. Regularly spread your garden with fertilizer, water your soil, and plant new seeds in early spring to improve your gardens. When plants are starting to die or you're noticing weeds, pull plants as often as you can to prevent spreading and contamination.

Be smart about weed management:

Weed management isn't all about the need to spray weeds with pre-emergent herbicide and emergent herbicide, it's a strategy that you need to be consistent with. Be diligent in removing weeds, inspect your lawn daily if possible for new weeds, and invest in the right weed removal tools.

Mulch garden beds regularly:

Applying a layer of organic mulch blocks sunlight and prevents the weed seeds from spreading further afield. Efficient mulching can also maintain the soil temperature which is crucial for the health of your plants.

Plant garden beds densely:

When you're adding to your garden, try to plant everything as densely as possible to reduce the amount of space weeds have to grow and spread.

Try rotating your crops annually:

Switching up your crops on an annual basis is a good idea as this disrupts the formation of weeds and can prevent them from being able to spread.

Create weed barriers:

You can use landscape fabric and cardboard to create physical barriers around your plants to prevent the chance of weeds causing disruption. Although they may not look the most attractive, they will stop weeds from growing while still allowing water and nutrients to reach your plants.

Final Thoughts

If you want to keep your garden growing healthily throughout the year, keeping an eye on weeds is a basic task that you should undertake frequently.

Some of the most common types of weeds in garden that we’ve mentioned above can cause big problems in your garden, so it’s important to be able to identify them and put in place measures to remove them as soon as you can.

If you’d like more information about how to properly care for your garden using a spreader and prevent weeds from growing, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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