With all of this recent moisture and forecasted sunny warm days, we can certainly expect for our gardens to explode with new growth. Certainly it is fun to see seeds sprout and transplants double in size overnight, but along with great growing conditions for garden plants comes great growing conditions for weeds in the garden. Therefore, gardeners should be mindful to control weeds now! Here are five culprits to be on the look-out for in the garden.
- Common Mallow – sometimes called ‘cheese weed’ – this annual, biennial, or perennial weed grows a massive underground root system when mature. It is best to pull small mallow plants to avoid problems with this weed later in the summer.
- Field Bindweed – sometimes called ‘morning glory’ – this weed is a triple whammy – it is a perennial, and it has underground growing points called nodes. Nodes are positioned on underground stems (rhizomes) so if injured or tilled, plants will sprout new growth. Also seeds stay viable in the weed seed bank for decades. Target this weed when it is small for best control and STAY ON TOP OF NEW GROWTH ALL SEASON LONG – yikes!
- Shepard’s Purse – this annual is easy to pull since it does not produce an extensive underground root system and is easy to spot due to its distinctive ‘heart-shaped’ seed pods and erect growth.
- Red Stem Filaree – sometimes called cranesbill since the seed head looks like the head of a crane – this annual or biennial produces a beautiful magenta colored flower. Red stem filaree is easy to pull since it does not produce an extensive root system.
- Dandelion – this perennial grows a long, taproot like structure. Target this weed when it is small and take advantage of wet soil since it is easiest to remove the entire root structure from the soil when saturated.
For more information, check out the full USU Extension publication Common Weeds of the Yard and Garden. Happy pulling!
3 Responses to April Showers Bring May Trowels
I have”white top “. Any ideas of what to do?
@Laraine Elder. Hi, Laraine. If you don’t spray early on (beginning of April) you’ll probably have to pull the White Top by hand because of their extensive root system. If you control them through mowing it’ll take a few years before they lose their vitality.
Thanks for the great question! I have been seeing lots of white top or hoary cress lately. It can look beautiful in bloom, but gardener beware, it is invasive, aggressive, and difficult to manage once established. I found this awesome factsheet from the Lincoln County Washington Noxious Weed Control Board. It gives mechanical, cultural and chemical control options for hoary cress control. Good luck and be merciless!