If creeping charlie (ground ivy) has already established itself, you can use a selective post-emergent herbicide to quell the invasion, but preventing these lawn weeds from showing up in the first place is the best course of action.
The yellow flowers comprise a collection of individual florets. A yellow flower forms at the center of the rosette and is lifted upward by a hollow stem. As the weed seeds prepare to ripen, the flower heads will close up and the hollow stem will fall back towards the ground. Once the weed seeds have ripened, the stem will rise upward again, this time with a ball of dandelion seeds that have what are essentially wind sails attached to them. These “sails” support the dispersal of the seed on the wind.
We are hopeful that this identification and troubleshooting guide will help you make your lawn and garden more beautiful!
A toxin in the plant can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed by your pets. The creeping buttercup is thought to be harmful to the plants surrounding it because it depletes potassium in the soil, affecting its availability to surrounding grass and ornamental plants.
In the spring and summer of the second year of growth, small white flowers with 4 petals will appear in clusters that open in succession. These flowers are self-pollinated. A thin, four-sided pod that holds the shiny, black seeds will burst open to disburse the seeds of the weed.
A non-selective herbicide can be used to kill these weeds. Because of their voracious growth, it’s best to treat them with the chemical before the flowers have bloomed and the seeds are beginning to spread.
However, if you feel that a chemical alternative is your best option, then several quality pre and post-emergent products are commercially available to purchase. It’s advised that you use a pre-emergent product and prevent this weed from showing up on your lawn. Because once it spreads, it becomes challenging to contain.
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Plantain (Plantago major) is a Eurasian-native species which only reproduces via seed and is commonly found in many gardens because it does well in compacted as well as disturbed soils. It was likely one of the first plant species brought to the new world as it is prized for its medicinal and culinary uses. Plantain has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, antibiotic and astringent properties and its leaves are very high in vitamins A, C, K and calcium. Plantain forms a basal rosette of large oval shaped leaves with prominent leaf veins and a taller flower spike containing many small greenish flowers. Although this plant is small in scale (generally reaching 6 inches tall and leaf spread of up to 12 inches) it reproduces on a large scale, with one plant producing up to 20,000 seeds, ensuring its survival and ongoing spread.
JP: Weeds can tell you a lot about your soil because all plant species prefer specific environmental conditions in order to thrive. Does the soil have too little nitrogen or is it eroded or too compacted? Spotting weeds that signal these issues can help you make helpful changes such as tilling and/or adding organic matter. Some 'weeds' such as Goldenrod (Solidago species) and Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) are native species which support Canada's pollinating insects and birds and contribute to the ecosystem. Milkweed (Asclepias species), for example, provides a nursery for the offspring of Monarch butterflies. Also, Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) is also considered a weed but can be beneficial in that it attracts predatory wasps, flies and lady beetles which prey on garden pests such as aphids.
A plant expert answers questions about every gardener’s nemesis
JP: First, remember that all weeds are plants too. Best advice is to be patient, sometimes the identity of the plant can't be guaranteed until the plant is flowering so waiting is often the best thing to do. Proper identification is the most important step in determining what you'll need to do to either abolish or control a plant. And some plants can be toxic to humans, so it's important to know what things are before dealing with them. Wear proper protective gear if you are uncertain.
What is your personal favourite weed and why?
Weeds are considered opportunistic and grow when conditions are favorable, such as specific temperatures, lawn moisture levels, bare or thin turf areas, and can even grow in cracks in the roads, sidewalks or driveways. Weeds have the ability to grow anywhere there’s room. Weed seeds come in abundance and from many sources while also having the ability to lay dormant in the soil for years before germinating. When actively growing, weeds produce thousands of seeds per plant and disperse them throughout the season. Some weeds like dandelions are spread with a little help from the wind. Other sources of weeds include poor quality grass seed purchased from the store and soils brought in for new plantings.
Why do weeds grow?
A weed is defined as any plant growing in locations that are not desired, like in a lawn or landscape.
Types of weeds
The natural way to get rid of weeds in your lawn is to hand pick them out. On smaller size lawns and mulch beds this is an effective way to control a small number of weeds. If you can pick the annual weeds before they flower and produce seed, you can aid in reducing the number of weeds that regrow. Keep in mind, weeds have roots that grow underground, hand pulling tears off the top foliage but the plant’s roots are left behind which can then regrow the plant. You need to remove all the roots to be successful and this is a difficult way to achieve it.