As with any region of the United States, the Northwest is plagued with weeds and plant pests that are unique to the conditions. In this article I will discuss four common weeds and how to safely remove them.
The first weed that I want to talk about is Common Tansy. This plant has a yellow flower that may seem pretty at first, and believe me the actual blooms are quite beautiful, but they are invasive, smother out other plants, and cause tons of bad reactions for those that suffer seasonal allergies. They grow on tall stalks in tight bunches and resemble dandelions on a much larger scale. The blooms, as I already mentioned, are bright yellow and are generally more than one bloom on a single stalk. These plants can be easily controlled with common herbicides, perhaps some homemade ones, or simple pulling or mowing over of them.
The next plant that I’m going to discuss is Bull Thistle. There is little need to go into depth in describing the physical attributes of this plant as they are present but not completely exclusive to the Northwest. These are the large thistle bunches that give birth to towering stalks covering in tiny spines topped with large, bulb shaped, purple blooms. These again are pretty from a distance. This plant proves to be a bit harder to get rid of, gloves and long sleeves are necessary if you intend to remove a large bunch of these and while many herbicides do work to kill these plants, they are tenacious. They may come back even after you kill them and their dried up remains are also hard to get rid of as they are covered with needles. The best way to get rid of these pests is to remove their roots so that they cannot come back.
Another weed that I’m going to talk about is Perennial Pepper weed. This is a plant that somewhat resembles baby’s breath. The small white flowers grow in tight clumps on tall stalks from woody bases. These are incredibly versatile weeds that adapt to whatever environment they happen to find themselves in. This weed needs to be handled immediately if you encounter it or it may very well take over your entire yard. This plant is best taken care of by people that have had experience with its disposal. If you are disposing of it yourself, herbicides work but you should take care to make sure that you use it properly. Again, the best way to get rid of this plant is to completely remove the root system which may be hard as they have creeping roots that help it to spread out.
The last plant that I’ll mention is Poison Hemlock. This plant is incredibly poisonous and should be handled carefully. It is also a spreading weed that takes over when it takes root. It looks a lot like Wild Carrot and Perennial Pepper weed. This plant needs to be taken care of immediately to prevent the cause of any harm from it. You can again either use herbicides or complete root removal to get rid of this plant, just make sure to take the proper precautions to prevent any harm. Any of the weeds that I’ve talked about are at worst an incredible inconvenience and road block to any gardener. If you take care to plan ahead when planting a garden by placing weed guard (black material that allows you to choose where plants grow through) weeds shouldn’t be all that much of a problem.