Weeds are the bane of gardeners everywhere. Theres a saying
that purports that a weed is simply a plant out of place, but in
reality weeds are more than just the wrong plant in the wrong place.
Left unchecked, weeds can quickly take over the garden, lawn, and
home landscape. Many weeds are very vigorous growers and can easily
crowd out the desirable plants. Weeds compete for water, food, and
sunlight and rob nearby plants of these precious resources. In
addition, weeds make a garden, lawn, or home landscape look
unsightly. Click on a product name below to order it from Pernell
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One of the most vigorous and difficult-to-control weeds is wild
violet. This low-growing plant forms a large colony of plants because
it spreads both by underground stems as well as by seeds. It bears
violet or white flowers in spring that are followed by seed capsules
that contain brown seeds. Its a perennial weed that spreads
quickly throughout the lawn and garden. Its typically found in
cool, moist, shady spots, but once its established, it can
tolerate drought and sun.
Creeping Charlie, which also goes by the name gill-over-the-ground
and ground ivy, is probably the most despised lawn and garden weed
there is. Its a perennial, vining plant that creeps along the
ground, forming a dense groundcover. The stems root wherever they
touch the ground, making it difficult to control. It has small,
rounded leaves all along its stems and bears violet-blue flowers from
late April to June. The flowers are held on short flower stems that
stand just above the foliage. Although creeping Charlie spreads
primarily by creeping stems, it also produces seeds that help it
spread about the lawn and garden. Its long, trailing stems can spread
several feet long or more.
Oxalis, also known as yellow woodsorrel, is a weed that commonly
appears in flower beds in between the desirable plants. Its a
clover-like weed with leaves divided into three segments. It bears
bright-yellow, star-shaped flowers from May to September. It quickly
becomes invasive because of the way it reproduces. It spreads both by
underground stems as well as by seeds. The seeds are held in brown
capsules that literally explode when ripe, sending the seeds flying
as far as 10 feet away from the mother plant. The seeds germinate
shortly after they hit the ground, especially in the warm weather of
summer. Its usually an annual weed, but can survive in winters
when the temperatures are not too severe.
Japanese knotweed is probably the most invasive of any weed that can
invade a garden or home landscape. Its an aggressive,
fast-growing, perennial weed that spreads mainly by underground
stems. It can grow to six feet high and forms a dense mass of foliage
that is almost shrub like. Its brownish-green, upright stems are
segmented, similar to bamboo, and carry oval leaves. New shoots are
red. It bears creamy-white, short flower spikes that stand upright on
its stems in late summer. These flowers produce a small amount of
seed that can help this noxious weed spread itself even further.
Although its a perennial weed, its stems are very susceptible
to frost and are usually killed to the ground with the first fall
frost only to return the following spring from its roots.
These and many other lawn and garden weeds can be controlled and
eliminated with organic controls that are safe for people, pets, and
For existing weeds in the lawn and garden, I use Herbicidal
Soap Spray. This organic, fast-acting weed killer eliminates
unwanted vegetation fast. It kills weeds, algae, and moss in the lawn
and garden within hours. It kills the plant, roots and all. What's
nice is that once the weeds are killed, they just shrivel up and disappear.
To prevent weeds in flower beds and landscape plantings I use Corn
Gluten Meal. This organic, weed-seed preventer is made from
corn gluten meal, a byproduct of the corn syrup industry. It's a
pre-emergent, preventing weeds from sprouting. It inhibits the growth
of the seed's feeder roots, causing the seedling to die.
For weed prevention in the lawn I use Organic
Lawn Weed and Feed. It's a two-in-one product that prevents
weeds and feeds the lawn all at the same time. The organic weed
preventer it contains is a safe, natural lawn pre-emergent,
preventing weed seeds from sprouting. Applied to established lawn,
bare ground, or on top of mulch, it inhibits the growth of the weed
seed's feeder roots, causing the weed seedling to die before you even
see the weed. The organic lawn food it contains fertilizes the lawn.