What a weedy year it has been in our tri-state area! Higher than normal rainfall levels have sent weeds sprouting like crazy throughout our landscapes. You don’t have to look very closely to see many gardens around Philadelphia and the suburbs thickly populated with strong, tall, thorny, invasive weeds, vines and unplanned saplings. They mar the scenery, arriving uninvited among the annuals and perennials and run trails through lovely lawns. They sneak through hedges, establishing substantial roots and rapidly growing thick stems before a busy homeowner can say, “Where’s my trowel?”
Some weeds are incredibly difficult to restrain, let alone completely eradicate. A good start in trying to address and control the problem is to identify the weeds in your yard and get to know their characteristics. Many people, even some who are not gardeners, can recognize crab grass and broadleaf plantain, but how many know what ground ivy looks like, or green briar, or lamb’s quarters, or spotted spurge?
Many of the weeds that we see most commonly in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are well represented on the Rutgers University cooperative extension website, which gives some useful, concise information about weeds and invasive plants. Well over 100 photos are available, together with the common and Latin name of each plant and a brief description.
When deciding how to clean up your flower beds or improve the look of your lawn, there is no shortage of treatment options. You could tediously remove each weed by hand, or repeatedly apply organic solutions. You could use a variety of synthetic products, or you may simply pay a third party to keep doing the job for you. No matter what option you choose, it could be useful to learn more about unwelcome guests of the plant variety on your residing on your property and how to show them less hospitality.
Below is a link to the downloadable article that Rutgers cooperative extension makes available concerning suggested ways to treat lawn weed infestations. You may want to refer to it before shopping for weed control products or deciding which lawn expert to contact.
Whatever method you settle on when planning the termination of your weeds, think first about the longterm effects of your choices. Manual and complete removal of plant and root will ensure that one plant will not return, but many garden owners lack time, physical ability, appropriate tools, and/or knowledge to be able to scour their entire property for every undesirable weed. Synthetic treatments can produce quick results, but may sacrifice the health of the soil, beneficial bugs or landscape plants in the process. Organic solutions are generally considered more desirable by environmentally conscious gardeners, but their effects can be short-lived and require more frequent application or manual effort than non-organic remedies.
No one can be certain how much rainfall our area will get next year. Weeds grow during pretty much all weather conditions. We can, though, be more prepared to deal with a lot of the commonly seen pesky weeds by becoming better informed about what they are and what controls them.
More information about our nation’s climate, including notable weather events and annual records, as well as many other fascinating facts and figures are available at NOAA’s website:
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