Weeds are a pesky problem that can be difficult to identify and remove. Weeds compete with plants for water, nutrients, and light – this makes it hard for your plants to get these necessities.
Weeds can be sneaky little things that start out small but grow into enormous plants overnight; they hinder plant growth and make gardens messy, so eliminating weeds is important if you want your grass and plants to thrive!
Weeds are a nuisance to most gardeners, but they don’t have to be! In this post, we’ll discuss how to identify the most common types of weeds, as well as how to get rid of them if you see one popping up in your yard or garden. Get the weeds out of your lawn and garden, and keep it that way, by following these steps.
What Exactly Are Weeds?
A weed is any unwanted plant growing where it is considered undesirable in that situation, particularly in cultivated land such as a lawn, garden, field, farm, or park. Officially the term “weed” has no real significance because a plant considered a weed in one area might be a necessary crop or plant in another.
Many weeds are beneficial in specific areas, but the ones that come to mind when you hear the term are those that are invasive – or grow and reproduce aggressively – outside of their native habitat.
Where and How Do Weeds Grow?
Many weeds are more hardy and able to withstand adverse conditions than other non-weed plants. Due to this reason, you will find weeds more readily in disturbed soils and ruderal environments, such as near roads or waste spaces, and in urban and suburban locations in general.
How Can You Identify What Is a Weed?
Before getting rid of it, examine the weed closely. Make sure you know what it is before taking action because not all weeds are bad. Some can actually benefit your lawn or garden if left alone. If you’re not sure what type of weed it is, do some research on identifying them online or in books at your library so that you’ll know for next time!
What Are Some Common Lawn Weeds?
There are many different weeds and they all have different looks.
Some have large, broad leaves: Broadleaf Plaintain
Some look like ivy: Creeping Charlie
Some are grass-like: Crabgrass
Some look like flowers: Yellow Wood Sorrel
Besides the weeds listed above, some common weeds you can find in your lawn include:
- Annual Bluegrass
- Canada Thistle
- Common Ragweed
- Creeping Jenny
- Dock Weeds
- Garlic Mustard
- Japanese Knotweed
- Lamb’s Quarters
- Shepherd’s Purse
- Spotted Spurge
- Stinging Nettle
- White Clover
- Wild Garlic
- Wild Onion
- Wild Violet
How to Kill Weeds In Your Yard
Here are some methods you can use to try and eliminate weeds from your yard. Keep in mind, not all of these will work on all weeds, so be sure to research how to get rid of your specific lawn weeds! You can also click on any of the links above to find out how to identify and remove those specific weeds.
#1. Pull Them Out – Simply pulling the weeds out by hand or with a small hoe can often do the trick. Make sure to get all of the roots, which is easier said than done, or else they’ll grow back next year.
#2. Cut Off The Tops – This is often done because the tops are where the seeds are kept, so if you cut the top of the weeds off they cannot reproduce. However, the rest of the weed is still in the soil and can easily grow back, so be sure to combine this method with another, such as pulling them out or using an organic or chemical-based weed killer.
#3. Block The Sunlight – Use black tarps or thick layers of mulch to deprive the weeds and their seeds of sunlight and therefore they cannot photosynthesize and get the nutrients they need, leading them to whither. This method takes a fair amount of time.
#4. Use Sugar – White sugar lowers nutrient levels in the soil to inhibit plant growth by starving out weeds, while still allowing grasses to thrive.
#5. Use Cornmeal – Corn Gluten meal is effective at killing weeds due to its effectiveness at breaking down into glucose and starving the soil of nitrogen, which many weeds need to grow. It’s an organic option.
#6. Use Boiling Salt Water – Pour boiling water directly on the weeds that you want to get rid of. Be careful you don’t burn your plants!
#7. Douse Them With Vinegar – Vinegar acts as a natural weed killer. The best time to apply vinegar is when your weeds are actively growing, because it dehydrates them and stops them from using water to grow, and before they go into seed production which happens in late summer or early fall.
#8. Use Fire – Using a controlled burning scenario can help rid your lawn of weeds. However, we do not recommend trying this method without the help of a trained professional!
#9. Use Baking Soda – Baking soda is a great way to kill weeds because it deprives them of moisture from the soil, therefore killing the root.
#10. Use Bleach – Bleaching your weeds with chlorine will kill their roots and prevent further growth for up to six weeks. However, repeated applications may be needed and the bleach is very harmful and toxic so you should always wear gloves and safety equipment when using it!
#11. Chemical Herbicides – Weed killers are the biggest and baddest way to get rid of weeds, as well as the most surefire way. Make sure you get the best type of weed killer for your specific situation, whether it’s for brush and hedges, or gardens and flower beds.
How to Prevent Weeds From Growing In The First Place
Often times, the best defense against a weed is a good offense – weeds grow better than other grasses and plants in unhealthy lawns, so to stop weeds from getting a foothold in your garden the best thing you can do is keep your lawn and garden healthy and thriving. This will help your wanted plants to grow and to out-compete the weeds for sunlight, water, and nutrients from the soil.
Be sure to mow your lawn regularly, at a higher cutting height than normal so the grass can block more sunlight from reaching the seeds, as well as aerate or till your soil once a year or so. Over-seeding is another good way to prevent weeds from growing.
If you have a garden, be sure to mulch around your plants with either bark or other organic matter. This prevents weed growth by depriving the weeds of sunlight, and it also helps retain soil moisture by preventing evaporation – two things that are key in keeping your lawn healthy!
Weeds are a bane to the gardener’s existence. They can be hard to identify and even harder to get rid of, but there is hope. You may need to invest time or money into your garden maintenance routine if you want to keep weeds under control – but it’s worth the investment!
If you’re looking for ways on how to identify what is a weed, where weeds grow, how do we get rid of them, all this information will help steer you in the right direction when dealing with these pesky plants. We wish you the best of luck in keeping your garden healthy, thriving, and free of weeds!