Weeds are simply plants that grow where you don’t want them to.  There is technically no classification for weeds, what one gardener finds intrusive another will cultivate.  Dandelions are prime examples of this, homeowners pull them out of lawns yet others cultivate them for food.  Clover is another plant that fits the bill, in a pasture it is food for animals but when it shows up in your flowerbeds it has to go.

One commonality that distinguishes weeds is the fact that they grow quickly and vigorously.  They have strong roots that reach far into the ground, that allows them to grow so fast and makes it extremely difficult to yank out.  At the same time they are pretty resilient and hard to kill.  The reason that gardeners hate them is because they use all of the water, sunlight and nutrients in the soil crowding out the plants you are trying to grow.  Gardeners and landscapers spend a significant amount of time yanking weeds.  Let us look at some common types of weed and how to handle them.

Bindweed

This weed comes from the same family as morning glory.  This weed grows around other plants and twists around the top until they reach the top of the other plant.  The weed strangles the cultivated plant so they need to be pulled out promptly.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is irritating to your skin but in addition to that the plant grows roots from the stem and that allows it to cling to and climb up walls, fences or even the side of a tree.

Chickweed

These weeds grow absolutely everywhere and they can be found in cold climates or in the tropics.  They will grow all year round even when other weeds are dying off in the cold.  Look for star shaped flowers that will open even in the winter months.

Dodder

If you have dodder in your garden then you need to get rid of it right away or it will kill your other plants.  These plants are incapable of photosynthesis so they need to rely on other plants for food.  They will wrap themselves around your cultivated plants and using their roots they will absorb nutrients from the other plants. Dodder has an orange/yellow stem so if you see it get rid of it.

Creeping Weeds

Creeping weeds is a catch all term for different types of weeds that can grow underground.  Dandelions actually fit into this category as well as burdock and a couple of other weeds.  These weeds have extensive root systems that grow extensively, they are nearly impossible to pull out.  The root systems can grow horizontally rather than just deeper underground and new plants can pop up all over your garden