Nobody likes talking about weeds. However, some plants compete with your yard for water, nutrients, and light; they bring pests and diseases as well. Here are tips for identifying some of the most prevalent weeds observed in lawns and gardens.

What is a weed?

A plant that causes financial or environmental damages, triggers animals or humans health complications, or is unwanted where it grows.

Noxious weed

Any plant authorised by national, provincial or local public officials as harmful to human health, crops, animals or land. Once the weed has been categorised as unhealthy, quarantines can be used, and other measures are taken to contain or demolish the weed and restrict its progression.

Invasive weed

Weeds that evolve, exist and expand widely in natural habitats outside the original habitat of the plant. In a changed land, these invaders frequently lack natural predators to limit their expansion, allowing them to disrupt native species and habitats.

The most prevalent garden weeds

Following are the top-ranked garden and lawn weeds:

1. Bindii

Bindiis are the scourge of anybody who walked shoeless through the lawn in the summer. It develops flat along the surface with stems approximately 1 metre in length with compound leaves and golden orange flowers. The major issue with this plant is that it drops spiky fruit that could be frustrating and torturous.

Look for epidemics of weed plants as they arise. The effective way to beat bindiis is to erase it before the plant grows flowers and fruits. Weedkillers are most successful in the seedling phase.

2. Thistle

Thistle is a combative, crawling perennial herb from Eurasia. It infiltrates lawns, gardens and other areas such as roadsides. Thistle reduces the consumption of forage in farmlands and rangelands, as animals will generally not graze next to infestations.

This weed replicates by seed and sneaking rootstock, that send out new shoots every eight to twelve inches. It is a colony-forming weed that reproduces asexually from rhizomatous roots or sexually from wind-blown seed. The plant arises from its roots in the mid to late spring. The weed grows 2 to 4 feet in height. You can see that its purple blossoms are developed in the season.

3. Bridal creeper

Bridal creeper is a major intrusive weed that affects the native environment. It is a climbing weed that expands up to 3 metres in height and can generate over 1,000 berries for every square metre. They form a thick canopy that suffocates native plant species, and their root systems form large mats that ruin other plants.

Physical removal of this weed is often inefficient unless all roots of rhizome are erased and demolished. Herbicides may be more successful, but since these weeds often develop in places with native species, they must be applied very cautiously.

4. Asthma weed

Asthma weed is a multi-branched herb that grows up to 60 centimetres in length all year round. Its stems are surrounded with dense, curled hair, and the foliage is green, shiny and wedge-shaped. Asthma weed exposure may cause serious skin reactions and its pollen triggers asthma and seasonal allergies. It also tends to cause conjunctivitis and rhinitis.

Pay attention: wear long clothes, a dust mask or breathing mask, safety glasses, and gloves when you’re pulling this weed. Erase the roots to prevent the recurrence. Weedkillers application is most successful when the weed is growing aggressively before blooming.

5. Crabgrass

Crabgrass is a low-growing weed that spreads through the seeds and roots of nodes lying on the ground. Unmowed, it can expand up to two feet in height. This weed shows up from mid-spring through summer once the soil is warm. It develops nicely in dry, warm climates. As an annual, crabgrass ends up dead at the end of each planting season, and new seeds must be produced each year.

In the garden, mowing is all you have to do to discourage them from blooming and developing seed. Most specialists advise that you mow your grass at the height of two to four inches and that you mow it regularly enough to maintain it within that range.

6. African boxthorn

African boxthorn is among the worst weeds due to its offensiveness and effect on the environment and agricultural production. It is a thick woody shrub with orange or red fruit, stiff branches and big spines. The fruit of the plant may be poisonous to humans, and its thorns may cause painful wounds.

Its spines make it extremely difficult for the boxthorn to pull out manually. Pruning or mechanical control may be efficient, although it is likely to grow. Herbicides may be splashed during the growth stage.

7. Dandelions

We love a lot about the dandelions with their golden-orange flowers in the spring. Early during the year, they also provide an essential food source for honey bees. If you don’t mind giving your garden over to the dandelions, that’s all right.

However, you may want to invest in the garden. In time, the dandelions would also start taking over any habitat from your grass to your ornamental garden plants. They’ve got the weediest attributes of all weeds. Not only they have wind-borne seeds, but they also reproduce vegetatively due to huge tap roots. To stop them from re-emerging, you have to cut the heart down into the ground.

Ways to prevent weeds

Prevention is always the best strategy for controlling weeds. Before using weedkillers, first look at non-chemical weed management techniques. Herbicides could be a simple fix this year, but they won’t prevent your weed issue from repeating season after season. Only by taking preventive control measures, weed problems can be reduced in the long term. Some weed variants produce vast numbers of seeds from a single plant, doubling their weed control issues for seasons to come. So ensure you erase the weeds all over your home before they blossom and grow the seeds. Following are some ways to prevent weed problems in gardens:

> Weed soon, when weeds are small. Monitor your lawn every day, and pull up the weeds growing there.

> Clean instruments when you migrate from one garden patch to another to minimise the seed spread.

> Mow grass regularly to keep garden weeds from developing seed. Take off those leaves.

> Be cautious when purchasing materials from local nurseries. Enquire for weed-free manure, mulch, compost, and soil. Follow the grass seed guidelines to ensure that they don’t contain any other crop seeds.

> When there is no planting season in spring or fall, you can break up the upper 4 to 8 inches of land, rake it flat, and cover the soil in plastic sheeting for six to eight weeks before planting.

> Water your plants properly; don’t sprinkle your entire garden or water your weeds.

> In gardens, be cautious not to over-fertilise or under-fertilise or promote weed growth.

Pay close attention to perennial weeds

Perennial weeds are harder to handle. You have to dig up their roots, buried tubers and rhizomes without leaving any segments behind. Fresh weeds can sprout from any component that breaks down and stays in the ground.

Chop off the green part of the weed with your mower—repeat the process quickly every time it rises. Without any of the foliage needed for photosynthesis, the underground plant’s components would become destabilised and may ultimately die. If you pull up the weed, try to eliminate the taproot as much as you could. You may have to repeat it many times.

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