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sticky seeds from weeds

A short-lived plant that grows sticky mats of foliage, which can swamp cultivated plants. It produces sticky seeds, which can be spread around the garden by animals and on clothing.

Cleavers (Galium aparine) grow rapidly during warm weather. The sticky stems are able to scramble around the garden, smothering small, cultivated plants and setting masses of seed. It’s usually introduced on the coats of animals, birds’ feathers or human clothing. Its lifecycle is approximately eight weeks from germination to setting seed.

Find it on

freshly-cultivated ground in borders, established flowerbeds, pots, vegetable plots

Remove cleavers regularly by hand, or hoe off young seedlings before they set seed. Avoid getting seeds on clothing, as this can inadvertently spread it around the garden. Mulch borders with a 5cm layer of garden compost or composted bark to suppress seedlings.

Symptoms

Apply a contact weedkiller when the plants are young and before they get a chance to flower.

Sticky seeds from weeds

The weed can be found around the world. Most often, Sticky Willy grows in moist and shady areas such as areas filled with waste, on roadsides and in gardens. The species can also affect the growing of hay, rapeseed, sugar beets and various cereals.

The seeds and foliage of Sticky Willy can contaminate the wool and fur of some livestock raised for the production of clothing. If animals consume it, it can inflame their digestive tracts. Its seeds can get stuck in the fur of animals and is very difficult to remove. It can also carry with it different diseases and pests.

Identifying Sticky Willy by Its Small Spines

Sticky Willy is quite easy to identify, thanks to the downward-pointing brown prickles on its leaves – which appear in groups of between six and eight – and stems. Its oblong-shaped eggs have slightly notched tips. Its seed leaves, or cotyledons, are smooth, however. If allowed to mature, Sticky Willy can grow to be 40 inches tall. Large groups of the plants often spread in dense mats over the ground, made all the more dense by their spines. Their flowers are four-parted and often white or greenish-white.

The sap of the plant can cause severe skin irritation in people who are sensitive to it. If left unchecked, the plant can also severely hinder other plants’ ability to grow. If left unchecked in agricultural operations, the plants can reduce crop yield in some species by between 30 and 60 percent.

Why Get Rid of Sticky Willy?

Some herbicides have proven to be effective in removing the pesky plant. Contact herbicides containing acetic, fatty or pelargonic acids can scorch off Sticky Willy’s foliage, including its seed leaves. However, these can damage nearby plants, so covering desirable garden plants is recommended, at least until the chemicals dry on the weed foliage.

Sticky seeds from weeds

Chickweed is one of the most common of weeds with the most delicate tiny white star-shaped flowers hence its Latin.

Creeping buttercup is a common perennial weed with low-lying foliage that forms mats. Its instantly recognisable glossy yellow flowers appear.

Sticky Willy is a reliable herb and is used to clean urinary stones and to treat urinary infections.

Often remembered from childhood, goose grass or sticky willy has clinging hairs on its leaves, stem and seeds which stick.

Larger Bindweed, Hedge Bindweed

Often remembered from childhood, goose grass or sticky willy has clinging hairs on its leaves, stem and seeds which stick to your clothes. It’s an annual and easy removed but also easily spreads with its self sown seedlings. Can grow up to 4ft high. Sticky Willy can grow rapidly during warm weather. The sticky stems are able to scramble around the garden, smothering small, cultivated plants and setting masses of seed. It’s usually introduced on the coats of animals, birds’ feathers or human clothing. Its lifecycle is approximately eight weeks from germination to setting seed.

One of the most dreaded of weeds, Mares Tail can spread like wildfire so if you see it, deal with.

Bindweed is a notorious, perennial weed which no gardener wants to find in their garden as its so hard to.

Chickweed

The leaves and stems of the plant can be cooked as a leaf vegetable if gathered before the fruits appear.

Sticky Willy is a common garden weed and likes shade. Keep a close eye out for it as it will creep around your plants, spreading as it goes.