Weeds are well known for the adverse effects it has on various types of plants. However, there are various types of weeds, around 8000 types to be specific, and some can cause positive effects instead of negative ones. Most people also don’t know that weeds can grow in more than just your garden. Therefore, the ways that weeds affect plants can vary in different ways.
So what are the positives of weeds in your garden, mulch, and backyard? What about the negatives? What kind of weeds are there, and how should we handle them? Do they, like any other plant, also have a life cycle? Also, how should you handle weeds in a garden?
These are all essential things that people should know about weeds before they decide whether to get rid of them or not. We will guide you through the answers to these questions about weeds and more.
What is Good about Weeds?
Despite what many people believe, weeds have many positive things they don’t necessarily like to admit. For example, one of the weeds’ main advantages is giving some decoration to your garden or house. Weeds have very different colors and can make a garden look beautiful to some people.
Another advantage of weeds is that they are used in types of manure and are very beneficial to the plants. Live weeds can be used as a type of mulch as well.
Weeds are usually considered to be a pest. However, one advantage of some weeds is that they can have medicinal properties and are even edible. An example of these weeds is pivala dhotra, used to treat skin diseases. Another example is the Pathari weed, which is an edible weed.
What is Bad about Weeds?
Although weeds do have benefits, they have many disadvantages to them as well. An example is how it can drain resources from plants in the garden. For example, weeds cost the United States about $20 billion yearly in agriculture losses.
Another negative about weeds is that they can degrade the quality of crops in fields. Some examples of weed seeds that can do this are datura, brassica, and many more. This problem with weeds can become a big issue if not addressed, so weed infestations should be taken care of quickly.
Although some weeds are edible, a lot of them are not. In addition, some weeds can even spread chemicals that harm humans and the other plants and animals that come into contact with it. During these situations, it’s essential to exercise weed control and use herbicides to kill these weeds.
What are the Different Types of Weeds?
There are four different types of weeds: grass weeds, broadleaf weeds, sedges, and non-native weeds(invasive weeds). All different kinds of weeds fall under these three categories. Grass weeds look more like blades and are the ones you end up mowing with a lawnmower. Compared to this, the sedge, although similar, have triangle-shaped leaves instead of others. Examples of sedges are the nutsedge and water chestnut.
The Broadleaf weeds are large, oval-shaped leaves. They are very short and have a shape that looks like a bush. This weed includes white clovers, the most well-known dandelions, and milkweed. They are not hard to identify if you ever spot them.
Lastly, we have non-native weeds or invasive weeds. Unlike Native, more common weeds, these non-native plants don’t have any diseases or insects that help or hinder their growth. These invasive species have started coming to North America, mainly from Asia and Europe. These plants include Yellow Starthistle, Palmer Amaranth, and Myrtle Spurge.
Do Weeds Have Life Cycles?
Weeds do indeed have life cycles. Weeds have three life cycles: annual, biennial, and perennial. Annual weeds are exactly how they sound: they are plants that only grow during the summer or winter. Examples of Summer annuals are knotweed and crabgrass. Examples of Winter annuals are Shepherd’s purse and annual bluegrass.
Biennial weeds are known to only last two years, with the first year consisting of the growth and germination of a rosette(a plant with no central stalk). The second year includes the growth of flowers and death. Some examples of Biennial weeds are the burdock, evening primrose, and the wild carrot(AKA the Queen Ace’s Lace).
According to the Oregon State University, Perennial Weeds are well known for being unable to die for many years. Unfortunately, the fact that they cannot die for a long time can make them very difficult to get rid of, especially when it comes to the harmful ones.
What are the Two Types of Perennial Weeds?
There are two types of Perennial Weeds: Simple Perennials and Spreading Perennials. Simple Perrenials are separate root system plants that grow very close.
On the other hand, spreading perennials are unique because they spread in two ways: seeds and vegetative production. Vegetative production occurs by sending out rhizomes below ground and stolons above it. These horizontal stems grow to considerable lengths and make multiple plants. An example of a spreading perennial is the Canada thistle.
What is the Best Way to Naturally Handle Weeds in a Garden?
Weeds can grow out of control quickly if you do not take care of them. Therefore, controlling weeds is essential to taking care of your garden. However, the infestation of weeds must be dealt with more naturally because using chemicals can lead to the possible death of the plants.
One good way to help solve this problem is by planting each different plant closer together. Don’t do this unless you have plants that spread diseases from touching other plants. Otherwise, it could kill one of your other plants. However, if you do this, it will prevent weeds from growing near the plant.
Another way to deal with weeds is by making a solution from vinegar, water, and soap. Using this solution will help eliminate weeds if you spray this solution on the weeds. If it doesn’t go away after spraying it once, try respraying it.
Conclusion: What Are Some Facts about Weeds?
To summarize what we have covered, although Weeds have advantages like having some medicinal properties and being edible, many weeds can destroy crops by taking away the nutrients inside, making them dangerous if left unchecked. Each of the four different types of weeds, such as grass, broadleaf, invasive, and sedges, are very different and can cause plant issues.
The weeds that can be the hardest to deal with are perennial, mainly due to them lasting for the longest time compared to annual and biennial weeds.
A good idea is to use natural solutions to help eliminate weeds in your gardens, such as vinegar, water, and soap. Another good solution for plants that can’t spread diseases by touching other plants is to plant them closer to each other, so weeds can’t grow.