Weed LibraryGrassy Weeds | Broadleaf Weeds | Woody and Vining Weeds | Control Measures
Broadleaf WeedsBroadleaf Plantain
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a beautiful perennial when grown in the company of other flowers, but it qualifies as a weed when seedlings appear in lawns. The small rosettes with feathery gray-green foliage grow close enough to the ground to survive repeated mowings. In addition, established plants send out shallow bud-bearing horizontal stems called stolons, which help yarrow grow into dense patches in hospitable sites. Pull unwanted plants when the soil is moist, or dig them and replant them on a slope or in wildflower meadow.
Weed Control Techniques
Pulling. Most young weeds can be pulled from the soil. They will slide out most easily if you pull them when the soil is wet. Getting the root up is crucial, so think of the main stem as the root's handle, and grasp it as close to the soil line as you can. If you find that the weeds are breaking off at the crown as you pull, slip a kitchen fork, dandelion weeder, or similar tool under the weed, and pry and twist as you pull it up. Weeds that have taproots, such as dandelion and plantain, usually must be pried out. A flexible pair of waterproof gloves will keep your hands comfortable as you weed, and it's good to have a nice sitting pad, too. Let pulled weeds bake in the sun for a day or so before composting them. If pulled weeds are holding mature seeds, compost them separately in a hot, moist pile before using this compost in the garden.
Digging. Weeds that regrow from persistent roots must be dug. Use a spade or digging fork to dig spreading perennials, such as bindweed, Canada thistle, and quackgrass. Start digging a foot away from the plant's center to loosen the soil. Then lift the weed from beneath, which reduces how many root pieces are likely to break off and regrow. Dandelion, dock, and other weeds that grow from persistent taproots can be dug the same way, or you can use a special fork-like tool called a dandelion weeder to pry them up. Dig very large taproots that are difficult to pry loose. In lawns and other places where digging dandelions is not practical, use a sharp knife to slice off the leaves and the top inch or two of taproot at a diagonal angle. Some weeds that are easily pulled when the soil is moist must be dug from dry soil.Image courtesy of Plant Stock Photos