9 common weeds and how to stop them dead

Weeds can be tricky to spot, but here are nine of the more common ones you'll find in your yard and garden — and how you can get rid of these pesky plants.

9 common weeds and how to stop them dead

1. Chickweed

  • An annual that spreads by seeds.
  • Easy to pull by hand, getting all the root system.
  • Don't hoe, since bits of plant left in the soil can resprout.

2. Crabgrass

  • An annual that spreads by seeds.
  • Pull, getting all the root system.
  • Don't hoe since bits of root and stem can resprout.

3. Ground ivy

  • Perennial that spreads by seeds and creeping stems.
  • Very invasive but easy to pull out by hand.
  • Don't hoe ground ivy because it will resprout from any part left lying on the ground.

4. Knotweed

  • Annual that spreads by seeds.
  • Pull small plants by hand.
  • For larger plants, hoe out the top of the plant, making sure you get all of the crown.
  • Knotweed likes compacted soil, so hoe the area.

5. Plantain

  • Perennial.
  • Dig out to remove deep roots, or it will resprout.
  • Plantains like compacted soil, so hoe the surrounding area.

6. Purslane

  • An annual that spreads by seeds.
  • Pull out by hand.
  • Don't hoe or otherwise cut out.

7. Spurge

  • An annual that spreads by seeds.
  • Pull or hoe out.
  • Keep the garden watered, since spurge likes dry soil.

8. Clover

  • Perennial that spreads by seeds and thrives in low-nitrogen soil.
  • Pull or hoe out.

9. Dandelion

  • Perennial.
  • Pull before it goes to seed, taking care to get all of the deep root.

Landscape fabric

  • If you want to minimize weeding, consider using landscape fabric.
  • Install it around trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Landscape fabric is porous, so it lets water and air to filter through.
  • To install landscape fabric, lay it on the ground, unroll as much as you need and cut it to size. Then, cut a hole in the fabric at each location where you want to place a plant.
  • After planting, cover each area thoroughly with at least eight centimetres (three inches) of mulch, so none of the fabric shows through.
  • Landscape fabric is also good for use underneath non-permanent paths and patios, like those made with wood chips or gravel.
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