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ATTENTION!!! Please do not steal my content! ALL of the content on this page is property of Tootsie Time is not to be copied and used elsewhere unless with the expressed permission of Tootsie! There have been a lot of my photos found on various websites and none have permission. Removing the watermark is not permitted under any circumstances. My work is MINE to share, and should never be seen with someone else's name attached to it. That is stealing!

:)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Wonderful World of Weeds....and How to KILL Them ( or at least try)

This is a post I wish I had never been inspired to write. It is about some things that make my garden a mess and my attitude not so nice. Today as I pulled some of the storm damaged plants, I was greeted by some of the following....and I can say I was NOT excited to see any of them!


Recognize this little fella? Of course we all do!


Dandelion
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 12 inches tall, 6-16 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawns and gardens in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Strong taproot; leaves are deeply notched. Yellow flowers mature to puffballs.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns.
Make sure you take the entire root! Leave anything behind and you are certain to have a re-run of this baby!

This one....well it grows all over the darned place...


Plantain
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 8 inches tall, 10-12 inches wide
Where it grows: Moist lawn and garden areas in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Broad, flat leaves around a low rosette.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns.
Note: Each plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds.

Kind of pretty isn't it? Do NOT be deceived....this is a very bad and invasive weed..


Black Medic
Type: Broadleaf annual or short-lived perennial
Size: 1-2 feet tall, 1 foot wide
Where it grows: Poor, dry, soil in full sun; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Clover-type leaves and small, yellow flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide. Discourage it by keeping soil well watered and amended with organic matter (such as compost).

Oh yes...the dreaded grasses...my neighbor thinks it is a good lawn grass...lol


Quackgrass
Type: Grassy perennial
Size: 1-3 feet tall, several feet wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade; Zones 3-9
Appearance: Wheatlike flower spikes appear above slender clumps of grassy foliage.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; dig plants out by hand, being sure to remove every bit of root
I hate quackgrass!


Another one that is a big time issue...


Bindweed
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: Climbs 6 feet or more
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Arrowhead-shape leaves on twining vines; bears white to pale pink morning glory-type flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent; repeatedly chop down growing plants and/or treat with post-emergence herbicide.
Note: Wandering roots produce offspring 20-30 feet from the mother vine.
Will wrap itself around pretty much anything...and the roots are hard to rid!

This one is not as hard to pull as you might think...


Dock
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 3-4 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Produces large, wavy-edged leaves and large seed heads covered with brown seeds.
Control: Mulch to prevent it; pull and dig up plants or treat with a post-emergence herbicide.
Note: Each plant can produce up to 40,000 seeds that wait decades before sprouting.
Did you see the time span for those seeds! well I never would have guessed....


There were plenty of these when we moved in to this house, I hope I have gotten them all...


Henbit
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 5-12 inches tall, 3-12 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Low, creeping plant with scallop-edge leaves and purple flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens or use pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or treat in lawns with a broad-leaf, post-emergence herbicide.

The leaves on this one are a little sticky...


Fleabane
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 2 feet tall, 6-18 inches wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun to partial shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Slender leaves, borne on an upright stem that branches. It produces puffy white to pale lavender daisies.
Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a post-emergence herbicide.

This one gave me a trip to the doctor a few years back! Do NOT pull this one without gloves....let me tell you!


Nettle
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 2-6 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide
Where it grows: Garden areas with rich, moist soil; Zones 3-9
Appearance: Sawtooth-edged leaves and yellowish flower clusters are covered with stinging hairs.
Control: Mulch to prevent it; dig out plants or treat with a post-emergence herbicide.
Note: Always wear gloves when working around this plant.
Oh yes...gloves...this plant leaves little hairs in your skin that will cause redness, swelling and lots and LOTS of pain.


Lets see who we have here...


Prostrate Spurge
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 3 inches tall, 18 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas with dry soil; Zones 3-9
Appearance: Green or purple-blushed leaves form dense mats.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens or use a pre-emergence herbicide in lawns; pull plants when young or spot-treat with a post-emergence herbicide.
Sounds like a medical condition doesn't it? nothing with a name like that can be good...Nothing.

And now for my biggest enemy in the garden this year....It needs no introduction....none at all..


Chickweed
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 6 inches tall, 12 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawn, garden, and landscape areas with rich, moist soil in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Lush green mats studded with small, star-shape flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens or use a pre-emergence herbicide in early spring; pull plants by hand.
Note: Each plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds.
I am going insane with the chickweed issues in this neighborhood! 150000 seeds! more like 15 million! grrrrr....

One lady on my street thought this was a good perennial...and nursed them to maturity!


Black Nightshade
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 2 feet tall, 2 feet wide
Where it grows: Landscape or garden areas with rich soil in sun or shade; Zones 3-10.
Appearance: Bushy or climbing plant with white or purple flowers and purple or red fruits.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull by hand or treat with a post-emergence herbicide.
Note: All parts of this plant, including the fruits, are poisonous.
Yes...she is not too intelligent.

Who hasn't seen this one?


Musk Thistle
Type: Broadleaf biennial
Size: 5-6 feet tall, 18 inches wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in full sun; Zones 3-9
Appearance: Prickly leaves off of tall stems topped by heavy 2-inch purple flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it; use a post-emergence herbicide or dig it out.
Get the whole root....and USE YOUR GLOVES!

Remember this one from the allergy medications commercials?


Ragweed
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 2-4 feet tall, 18-24 inches wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun or partial shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Finely cut green leaves are almost ferny.
Control: Mulch to prevent it; use a post-emergence herbicide or pull it out by hand.
I have nothing to add! ugh


Another one of my neighbors lawn babies!


Crabgrass
Type: Grassy annual
Size: up to 18 inches tall, 8-20 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Grassy plant; grows roots anywhere the stem makes soil contact; seed heads spread out like four fingers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in lawns; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective post-emergence herbicide.
Note: Each plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds
And it will! trust me!


I don't care what anyone says....clover is NOT lucky!


White Clover
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 8-10 inches tall, 12 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun to partial shade; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Three-lobe leaves frame round white flower clusters.
Control: Mulch to prevent it in landscape areas; use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns or hand pull.
Note: Clover adds nitrogen to the soil so as far as weeds go, this one is moderately helpful
Helpful or not....I can get nitrogen from a can....it has got to go!

Have you ever tried to pull it? you need muscles!


A famous back alley plant in my area...


Yellow Sweet Clover
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 1-3 feet tall, 12-18 inches wide
Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas; Zones 4-9
Appearance: Lanky branches; clover-like leaves; fragrant yellow flowers.
Control: Mulch to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spot treat a post-emergence herbicide.
Not Sweet as far as this Tootsie says!


Name it as nicely as you like...it is still a bad bad weed! Very bad....


Velvetleaf
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 4-6 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide
Where it grows: Fertile, sunny landscape and garden areas; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Large, velvety heart-shape leaves up to 10 inches across; yellow flowers in summer.
Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide.

Here's a favorite back alley weed....


Pigweed
Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 6 feet tall, 2 feet wide
Where it grows: Sunny landscape or garden areas; Zones 3-10
Appearance: Tall plants with a taproot; hairy-looking clusters of green flowers.
Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide.
This one is easy to pull....but hard to get rid of.


Who would have thought a houseplant would make it to the weed list!


Creeping Charlie
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 4 inches tall, several feet wide
Where it grows: Shady lawn, landscape, or garden areas; Zones 3-9
Appearance: Ground cover with scalloped leaves and clusters of purple flowers in late spring.
Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide in spring or fall.
Keep it indoors or it will become a least favorite!


Now....I hope my rantings have not made you as cranky as I am right now....

I have hardly begun! The list of invasive weeds is seemingly endless...I have only touched on some of the most common ones!!!


How about some tips to help make sure your weeds are not as bountiful as they might like to be...

1. Be a mulching maniac.
Mulch acts as a suffocating blanket by preventing light from reaching weed seeds. At the same time, it holds moisture for your plants and provides nutrients for your soil as it decomposes. Apply coarse mulch, such as bark or wood chips, directly onto soil. Leaves, grass clippings, or straw work better as a weed deterrent with a separating layer of newspaper, cardboard, or fabric between them and the soil.

I am not a mulcher...maybe I should be. My neighbor is a mulcher...a mulcher with a lot of weeds mixed in...so I am not convinced that this works..


2. Water those weeds.
Pulling weeds is easier and more efficient when the soil is moist. You are more likely to get the whole root system, and your yanking won't disturb surrounding plants as much either. No rain? Turn on the sprinkler or even water individual weeds, leave for a few hours, then get your hands dirty. (Just ignore the strange looks from your neighbors as you water your weeds.)
This is true...but if you are going to water....wear rubber garden gloves!

3. Cut weeds down in their prime.
Weeds love open soil. But if you till or cultivate, then wait to plant, you can outmaneuver the weeds. Till the ground at least twice before you plant. Your first digging will bring dormant weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate. Watch and wait for a few weeks until they begin to grow. Then slice up the weeds again with a tiller or a hoe, only don't dig as deep. Now it should be safe to put precious plants into the soil.

I do this faithfully each year..but sadly the weeds keep coming...I suppose that if you do it and your neighbors don't you are doomed! Doomed I say!

4. Pass the salt.
Try sweeping rock salt into crevices between paths. Although more harsh, borax also works well. Be sure to wear rubber gloves with the latter material. You might need to apply a few doses, but be aware of any surrounding plants because both products kill the good plants along with the bad.
This works, but be careful....

5. Lay down the law.
Try using landscape fabric as a weed controller. Landscape fabric is usually made of a nonwoven, porous polypropylene fabric, which enables air, water, and nutrients to reach the soil but keeps weed seeds in a dark, cool environment where they can't germinate. You lay down the fabric, cut a hole where your plants are positioned or will be planted, then cover the fabric with a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch or gravel. However, landscape fabric doesn't work well on steep slopes or windy sites, where the mulch often slides off or is blown away, exposing the fabric. Never use plastic, as it prevents moisture and air from reaching your plants' roots.
This stuff will eventually disappear into the soil and will require replacing...but works while it is still newish...

6. Boil them alive.
If you have pesky weeds in a spot with no nearby grass or valuable plants, boil water and pour it over the unsuspecting weeds. To control the stream of boiling water and to save surrounding plants and your toes from a scalding, use a teakettle.
Good idea!

7. To compost or not to compost.
After you've labored to rid your garden of weeds, be careful that you don't throw weeds onto the compost heap where they can drop seed and infect your entire yard. When you pull or till young weeds, leave them where you chop them and let the sun dry them out, then use them as mulch. Throw mature weeds on a hot compost pile where they should cook at 200 degrees or higher for several weeks to ensure the seeds are killed.
This is good advice...and be careful where you buy your compost....some places don't screen for weeds!

8. Cover your ground.
Cultivate plants close together or grow winter groundcover in areas that typically suffer from weed invasion. A thick mass of plants not only is attractive but also shelters the soil from direct sunlight, making it more difficult for weed seeds to prosper.
I plant as thick as thieves....and I still had weeds...but not as many as I could have had if I didn't!

9. Old-fashioned elbow grease.
Weed every couple of weeks throughout the growing season in order to stay in control of the weed situation. If you're going to get down and dirty, use a comfortable knee cushion or try pads to lessen the impact of weeding on your body. You can also try an upright tool such as the Weed Hound, which prevents excessive bending or body strain.
It is also great exercise!

10. Know your stuff.
If you can identify the sprouting menaces in your yard, you can control their reseeding habits better. Annual weeds complete their growing cycle from seed to plant in a few months, then die. Unfortunately, they can leave behind thousands of babies if they go to seed, so always try to remove annuals before they drop seeds. Perennial weeds usually live for at least three years and are more difficult to banish, so at first sighting remove them immediately.

11. Time is tight.
If the weeds are starting to grow, but you don't have the time or energy to pull them up at the moment, suffocate the weeds by covering them with a block of wood or piece of plastic. Better yet, use a few large decorative stones, a work of art, or a birdbath. At least you'll stop the weeds from spreading so you can tackle them when you have time.
Never even thought of this!

12. Off with their heads.
To stop weeds from spreading, pluck off their flower heads before they drop seed. This technique can be especially helpful with annual weeds, which love to provide generation after generation of weeds.
very good advice here...

13. Don't go too low.
To help discourage weed germination in your lawn, avoid scalping with your mower. A buzzed lawn not only kills the grass in that spot, it allows light to reach the weed seeds and gives them the opportunity to sprout and run amok. Raising your mower blade also helps promote extra root growth in your lawn, making it harder for weeds to get a foothold.
Fertilizing your grass a few times each year is also a great way to help the lawn choke the weeds out!

I also found a website....which will not be named...that actually SELLS the seeds to these horrible plants!!!!!! Yes I was stunned too....the worst part....they are more expensive than seeds for some of the most beautiful plants I have ever seen! It got me thinking....how much money you and I are throwing away every time we rid ourselves of these pests! I could be a millionaire off the chickweed issues alone!
That's all I have to say for today...

Until next time....Happy Weeding!

*)*)*) to my special three...if there's one thing I have learned from YOU...it is that sometimes the greatest disappointments in life turn out to be the biggest blessings!!!

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.
www.tootsietime.com

***the photos for today's post are not my own...they are borrowed from the internet.

This post originally was published in 2008...but I felt it was worth re-vising and sharing again!

19 comments:

Picket said...

Wow girl...I never seen so much info on weeds in one place in all my life...you need to publish that! lol Hey I grew up making little necklaces out of the white clover stems when they bloomed! lol Thanks for coming by girl....hope you are doing well and that things are turning a new corner for you....take care and have a great week!

Naz said...

This was very helpful as I recognized quite of few of those dreaded weeds. I've never heard of the hot water method though. I guess it interested me because of my constant fight with weeds.

Happy To Be said...

GM, Toots wow!! so many weeds and the only one I know were the yellow flower ones my kids use to bring me...I love your new Look on your blog I can tell you been a busy Tootsie redoing your blog page...I miss the big toots picture..hope all is well in Tootsville today...Hugs and smiles dear friend...Gloria

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great blog today!
Have a great day....
Pat H aka 9405018

artis1111 said...

Tootsie, love the picture of your flowers!! I think Heee KathyI had every last one of those weeds!. Where is my WEED WACKER!!!

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Glenda, I pulled my blog out of despartation. I am in extreme pain with my shoulder, arm, hand, back and neck. I have to stay away from the computer. Please.. let everyone know what happened. I will be back once I feel better. I am having a hard time even writing you this note. I do.. miss all of my blog friends!!! And Betty!!!
I could sure use prayers!! I hope your life is getting better!!
Hugs, Terrie

Shelia said...

Hey Tootsie Wootsie!! Now, don't you tell me you had all of these weeds in your gorgeous flower beds! You really do know your stuff, though. I'm in love with your header picture of your beautiful flowers!! So beautiful!!
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and thanks for popping in.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

beddow said...

Thanks for the tips Tootsie! I kept wondering if you were over in the neighbors yard picking their weeds as I could not believe they were in your yard!

Betty

Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) said...

Wow Tootsie...this is a great post! If it weren't so late I'd read it all this moment. I'm coming back to read more tomrrow. So much great info. here. The awful bane of my life in my yard is chamber bitter...it is pure evil...thousands of tiny seeds under EVERY leaf...arggggh! Here's a link about it: http://apps.caes.uga.edu/news/storypage.cfm?storyid=2888
I'll be back! Susan

Jennifer said...

What a comprehensive post! I was amazed, thinking all of those photos were YOURS until I got to the end and read that you did not take the photos, lol! Good info! I have to try to eradicate some weeds from my veggie garden and don't want to use herbicide...so I may try the boiling method!

Shirley said...

Excellent post! Luckily I am not fighting all of these in my garden, just the clover, dandelions and plantains. But that is more than enough! Well done, my friend.

Sue said...

Without a doubt the BEST guide to weeds I've come across. THANK YOU!!
Good, clear , concise pictures and descriptions. You should write assembly instruction manuals!!!!!!
:)

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
I love your post Tootsie... My lawn looks green becouse of the Weed's, NO watering the lawns or my gardens hear in Texas!!! Thanks so much for posting sweet lady.
I hope you can come visit me !!
I also hope you have a great week.
XXOO Diane

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Holy Cow Tootsie, I think I have half of the weeds you have shown. I had better keep this post as a reference. I am pretty good about spritzing them when I see them but I cannot get rid of the oxalis type weeds.

Eileen

La Petite Gallery said...

Tootise, nobody has a more interesting post. I never
knew the names of the monsters in the lawn. I have ragweed,dandelion,black medic
nettle,clover,crabgrass and those
broadleaf Plantains. Thanks
now I know what I am pulling up.

yvonne

Diane said...

Great post, Glenda!

I have one that looks like a little white pine tree, growing everywhere. I'll try to take a photo of it.

Bren Haas said...

I love this 'weedie' post! The images are wonderful and I always learn so much when visiting your site!

siteseer said...

yikes!! we have lots of chickweed and a few of the others. The one I didn't see you mention was something that is really sticky - as in sticks to your hands just while you are holding it... it doesn't leave a residue ?? Anyway, my hubby is like your neighbor if it's green and he can cut it with the mower he just mows. I HATE this!! The broadleaf grass, the chick weed, the viney purple stuff all if it, I HATE IT!! One of these days when we plan on being home more than on the road I hope to correct this situation lol Thanks for the awesome tutorial on weeds. I hope to print it out the next time I'm near a printer. Thanks

siteseer said...

I forgot to mention I've read that baking soda (the stuff you use to keep your fridge smelling fresh) can also be used to keep the weeds or anything you don't want to grow from the cracks in the sidewalk or driveway. We bought a large bag for basically pennies and it has to be safe for the environment even if not for plants... gotta use caution