How To Get Rid Of 7 Of The Most Common Weeds

Flickr | Kamil Gopaniuk

There is truly nothing more frustrating than looking out over your home’s beautiful landscaping, only to notice a perky yellow dandelion waving in the breeze.

Don’t let weeds ruin your lawn or your flower beds. Take back control of your garden with these helpful tips for getting rid of these seven common weeds.

1. Dandelions

Sure, they look friendly enough, but dandelions are just like any other weed—annoying.

These broadleaf plants can grow pretty much anywhere—they like both sun and shade. According to This Old House, one dandelion plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds!

If you’ve already got dandelions in your yard, you’ll want to pull them by hand. But you can also prevent these guys from coming back by growing a thick, dense canopy of grass. That’s because dense grass means there isn’t enough room for dandelions to poke through—it’s truly your best defense against weeds.

Flickr | Brian Richardson

2. Crabgrass

According to Better Homes and Gardens, each crabgrass plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds. Never fear—you can stand up to this ruthless weed.

The best way to control crabgrass is to strike a balance with the maintenance of your lawn. Too much fertilizer on your lawn will help encourage this little guy to grow, so make sure you follow the application rates on the fertilizer bag.

You can also prevent crabgrass by watering your lawn infrequently and deeply. If you water every day for just a few minutes, you’re creating a nurturing environment for crabgrass. Give your lawn a good soak once a week and crabgrass won’t thrive.

3. Bindweed

Though it can look pretty, bindweed will quickly take over your garden, your flower beds and your lawn if you let it. This creepy crawly vine does just what the name says—it snakes its way around your plants, binding them up and stealing their nutrients. Your first clue that you’ve got a bindweed infestation is if you see hundreds of small flowers on a mat of green vines early in the morning, according to Underwood Gardens.

These plants thrive in moist dirt, so make sure you’re not overwatering. You have to be truly vigilant if you want to get rid of bindweed—pull new plants as soon as you see them, according to Gardens Alive.

4. Yarrow

Another broadleaf weed, yarrow has finely cut leaves and can grow in short dense patches in your lawn. This weed grows from May to mid-summer and can produce small white or yellow flowers, according to Scotts Lawn Service.

You’ll need to pull these suckers by hand or find a spray-on herbicide. This weed grows in dry, arid and sandy conditions and it may point to a larger problem in your soil, such as a lack of nutrients, according to HGTV.

5. Creeping Thistle

Don’t be the victim of a creeping thistle plant, which has spiky leaves that can be painful to the touch. HGTV says this weed pops up in recently seeded lawns or bare patches in your yard.

Dig them out using a weed puller or apply a broadleaf herbicide. This plant has an extensive root system, so you’ll need to maintain your de-thistle system for a while in order to see results, according to Better Homes and Gardens.

6. Spotted Spurge

This weed forms a dense mat with its dark green leaves. You can pick out this pesky weed because it typically has a red spot about halfway down each leaf. Its broken stems secrete a milky, poisonous sap that can irritate your eyes and skin, according to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department.

The university recommends focusing your efforts on prevention by using sterilized or weed-free planting mixes. Covering the soil with sheets of clear plastic, a process known as solarization, can also help prevent a spotted spurge infestation.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

7. Nutgrass

Nutgrass, also known as nutsedge, is particularly tricky to manage because it looks like grass. This weed’s leaves are typically thicker and stiffer than most grasses and this plant can produce small yellow or purplish brown flowers.

Yvonne Savio, a manager at the University of California’s Common Ground Garden Program, says the key to getting rid of nutgrass is to remove the “nuts” that grow underground.

“The only way I’ve found to remove any remnants is to dig 6 inches around and under each weed and discard it,” she told the LA Times. “Don’t even think of composting the weed or filtering the soil through a screen. You’ll waste soil but gain peace of mind that you’ll have no more nutgrass within your garden realm.”


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Sarah Kuta
Sarah Kuta is an award-winning writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. She writes regularly about travel, saving money, health, food and more.

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