How to - Gardening Basics

Five easy steps for a weed-free garden

Yvonne Cunnington

Nip these nuisances in the bud

Weeds to the wise
Annual weeds:

• Summer annual (one season) weeds such as lambs'-quarters (Chenopodium album) and ragweed sprout in spring and go to seed in late summer and fall.

• Winter annuals such as common chickweed (Stellaria media) sprout in fall and go to seed in spring or early summer.

• Annual weeds can grow quickly enough to spawn a couple of generations in a single season if you let them go to seed.

Biennial weeds:
• Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) and burdock (Arctium lappa) form roots and a rosette of leaves the first year, then flower and set seed the second year.

Perennial weeds
• Dandelions, Canada thistle, quack grass and creeping Charlie are long-lived and have large, vigorous root systems. Many of them spread by both seeds and stolons (horizontal, above-ground shoots), or rhizomatous roots (horizontal, underground stems). They're the toughest weeds to get rid of because of their ability to regrow from tiny pieces of root.


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