The Gardener’s Guide To Weeds

Taking care of weeds in garden.

They’re an inevitable part of gardening and the bane of every home owner’s yard. Weeds are seemingly everywhere we turn in our gardens and they can be an absolute nuisance to get rid of.

However, when you arm yourself with the right knowledge about what types of weeds you have and how best to eliminate them, you make the process of gardening easier and more enjoyable than ever before.

Here are a few of the most common varieties of weed found in North America, and how you can help rid your garden of them. If you can’t find the weed haunting your yard in this guide, you can always head to the Weed Science Society of America for a detailed list of the most common varieties and how best to deal with them.

Canada Thistle

This thistle has an extensive root system which can make it very hard to remove, and it has spiny green leaves on it. Sometimes there will be a purple flower attached, which is common with many types of weeds so it can beharder to identify.

Canada Thistle

This is a broadleaf perennial and loves to grow on lawns in sunny areas, so it’s extremely common.To remove Canada Thistle from your lawn, you can dig it out by hand. However, to prevent it from growing you should try to mulch the landscape regularly.


This is a type of Broadleaf Annual and thrives in sunny and dry parts of the country, growing especially on lawns and in garden beds.

The Purslane has fleshy dark green leaves and will often have small yellow flowers at the ends.

To rid your lawns and garden of Purslane, you can treat them with a non-selective postemergence herbicide.


If you prefer an organic approach, pull the weeds by hand and prevent them returning by mulching regularly.


This is a relative of grass and it can grow just as fast, and because it’s ideal for both sunny and shady areas it’s extremely common. The dayflower weed will grow up to 30 inches high and sports beautiful bright blue flowers during summer. Although lovely, they can be extremely damaging and grow at a rapid rate.


To remove the dayflower weed from your garden, the best treatment is prevention. Use a pre-emergence pesticide during spring and a post-emergence pesticide during other seasons.


Another variety of the Broadleaf Perennial, the Plantain is a type of weed that disguises itself well in grass. This has a broad, flat leaf and each plant can contain up to 15,000 seeds so it spreads very quickly when not treated.


You can pull the plantain by hand, or use a post-emergence herbicide on your lawn to remove it. However, prevention is again important by applying a mulch to your landscape to stop it growing in the first place.


Although one of the most popular weeds, especially when they mature into puffballs and are fun to blow, dandelions are a pesky problem. These have a strong taproot and beautiful yellow flowers and are quite easy to spot.


You can remove dandelions by pulling them, but using extra force as their roots are quite strong. However, mulching is again important and as is treating them with a post-emergence pesticide when required.


Another Broadleaf Perennial, the Oxalis weed looks distinctly like clover and has smaller yellow flowers during summer and fall. Some people even eat the leaves, however, in large amounts they can be quite dangerous.


To rid your garden of Oxalis, do your mulching during spring to prevent it from growing. If you already have an outbreak, it’s best and easiest to pull this one by hand.


Often mistaken for grass, Crabgrass is more commonly identified by the seed heads that spread out into four. This grass grows in the lawn, landscape, and gardens and it can be found everywhere due to the fast growing seeds.


Use a pre-emergence herbicide on your lawns to prevent it from growing and keep gardens mulched, otherwise, you will need to spend countless hours on your hands and knees removing it yourself.


Although it might be beautiful to look at, this twisting vine is actually a weed and can do some serious damage. It can climb up to 6 feet and loves sunny areas, with arrowhead-shaped leaves making it easy to spot.


To remove Bindweed from your garden, you can chop down the plants at the root as they grow. Otherwise, treat the weeds with a post-emergence herbicide to kill them once they’ve already appeared.

White Clover

This one is not always entire a hindrance, as clover can add nitrogen to the soil and help other plants to grow. However, most people find it a bother. This weed has three lobe leaves and will also sprout small white flower clusters and is extremely common in North America.

White clover.

If you want to remove the White Clover from your yard, the best way is to pull them out by hand. Otherwise, you can a post emergency herbicide to treat and kill them.

Creeping Charlie

As one of the most widely grown weeds, Creeping Charlie spreads itself through your yard quite quickly. This weed has scalloped leaves that cover the ground and during spring it will sprout purple flowers.

Creeping Charlie

To remove Creeping Charlie from your landscapes and lawns, mulch your garden during spring to limit its growth and then pull it by hand once it appears. For more severe growth, you can treat with a post-emergence herbicide for immediate results.




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