There are several weeds that tend to plague most American gardens and lawns, and then there are those that are more specific to a particular condition or region. The East is no exception. The first weed that I want to discuss that is common in the East is Bristly Mallow. This weed has shiny leaves that look almost like they’re coated in wax that alternate up and down a long, vine like stem. The flowers are orange-ish red and are quite small. This is a creeping weed which means that as the stems spread out, they are also rooting themselves at different intervals. This makes getting rid of them a bit more complex than just pulling out one clump, often you must follow the stem, pulling ever so often, to free the newly forming root clumps. Weeding is generally the easiest way to get rid of this plant as they have shallow roots along the stem and only one solid tap root.
Another weed that I want to mention is Creeping Buttercup. This is a weed that is almost like a groundcover. It tends to spread itself out at alarming rates. The leaves are dark green and are often nestled around a five petal yellow flower. This is a low profile plant that doesn’t get all that tall but is still an eyesore in any garden or lawn. Because this plant has such a low profile, weeding is a bit harder than just spraying for it. If you do choose to spray make sure that you keep overspray to a minimum and that you only spray the weed. If you choose to weed on the other hand, you must make sure that all the fragments of the roots are removed or the weed will sprout back with a vengeance.
The next plant I want to mention is Barnyard grass. This grass grows in tight clumps with stalks that come out of the center of the clump that look like tiny sheaves of wheat. This grass tends to lie flat when you try to mow over it then straightens back up when you are finished leaving unsightly bulges in your lawn. This can also pop up around flower bed edging and in you flower bed. It is best to remove this weed through weeding because of its location. It is often in the middle of yards where use of herbicides would kill surrounding grass.
The last weed that I want to mention is Dodder. This is an extremely parasitic plant and should be removed quickly from your garden to ensure that it doesn’t kill your other plants. This weed has bright yellow stems that can be seen clinging to host plants. It has white or pink flowers when it is mature and spreads mainly through seeding. If you see this plant in your garden it is best to weed it then spray to make sure that it doesn’t come back. You want to pull it first so that you can tell where its primary root is to ensure that you don’t inadvertently kill your plants, then spray to keep it from coming back. With any of these plants it is crucial to ensure that you know what you are dealing with and how best to be rid of it without harming the plants you are trying to protect.