Defining plants as weeds or flowers can be a subjective experience to any gardener or homeowner. There are a few plants, however, that most people want out of their gardens and yards. Listed below are a few common weeds found in Wisconsin, and tips on removing them.
Nothing says spring like the arrival of the common dandelion. Appearing as soon as the grass begins to green after a long Wisconsin winter, these plants multiply across the region well into fall. It’s best to destroy these plants before they begin to blossom, known by their delicate white seeds. Every plant produces thousands of these seeds that can be spread easily in the wind.
Most people spot-treat their dandelions with a broadleaf weed killer such as Round Up or Weed-B-Gone. Wear gloves when applying the product, and keep the liquid away from other broadleaf plants you want to keep in your lawn or garden.
If you want to remove plants by hand, wait until the soil is wet so that you can pull the entire root out of the ground. Using a weeder tool (with sharp prongs on the end), insert the tool under the root system, move back and forth to loosen the plant, and pull towards you. The entire plant should be removed from the soil.
If you don’t mind chemical treatments, pre-treating your lawn in spring will help fend off plants from growing.
Clover is also a broadleaf weed common in Wisconsin communities. Although some gardeners and home owners like the white blossoms and ground-cover like greenery, most people find this hardy plant a nuisance, especially in manicured lawns.
Applying an herbicide in the fall will help stop plants from coming up the following Spring. Spot-applying Round Up or Weed-B-Gone is also helpful.
This weed is the arch-enemy of many lawn gardeners in Wisconsin. Thriving in full sun and hot conditions, this weed can survive in arid conditions when your grass has long-since browned.
If you suspect you’ve got crabgrass growing in your lawn, make sure you’ve got a proper identification. An annual grass, this weed appears during the summer months, and is characterized by its long stems that are positioned out from the main plant like legs of a crab.
Maintaining a thick, healthy lawn is a great preventative for crabgrass. You can pre-treat before seeds emerge from the plant. Once seeds have appeared, try an herbicide from your local gardening center.
Since this weed is an annual, you might consider hand-picking plants so that they won’t appear the following year.
If you’re having problems indentifying a plant, try the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Weed Identification Tool