Every homeowner with a garden will understand the plight of having unwanted plants sprouting in your lawn or garden beds. Unwanted plants, also referred to as weeds, are every gardener’s nuisance as they tend to take over quickly and kill wanted plants. From the most common unwanted plants to why they are problematic plants to how to remove and prevent these unwanted plants, we have covered everything you need to know about unwanted plants in this quick guide. When you need a powerful tool to cut back weeds in your garden, B&S Commercial Power has a range of Stihl brushcutters that will get the job done.
5 Common Unwanted Plants:
Before you can start your journey of removing unwanted plants from your garden, it is important to distinguish the weeds from the favourable plants. Weeding your garden successfully takes time and effort, so it is important not to focus your energy on the wrong plants. We have created a brief outline of the 5 most common weeds you will find in your garden.
Dandelion is the most common weed you will encounter in your garden. Dandelion, or taraxacum officinalis, is a common problem in lawns, pathways, and flowerbeds. Dandelions have broad, green leaves with a characteristic yellow flower that turns into a fluffy, white ball of seeds that can be blown. Dandelion is a perennial plant, meaning it will be a problem year-round until you take the time to remove it.
Purslane, or portulaca oleracea, is a succulent weed with thick, red stems and small, juicy green leaves. Purslane can adapt to harsh environments and thrive, meaning that it will quickly become an irritating plant in your garden. It will aggressively spread throughout your garden, sending its wide-reaching tendrils along the edges of your grass or overcrowding your flowerbeds. This unwanted plant is edible and is packed full of nutrients, making it a quick garnish to your salad once you have removed it from your garden.
Nutsedge, commonly referred to as nutgrass, is a weed that has a grass-like appearance. Nutsedge has a triangular stem of light-green, stiff, thin leaves that grow longer than grass. Nutsedge grows in sporadic clumps, joined by an extensive rhizomatic root system that allows it to quickly take over your garden. Nutsedge produces yellow or purple flowers that turn into a cluster of seeds, ready to be blown by the wind and to spread further throughout your garden.
4) Mullumbimby Couch:
Mullumbimby couch, or Cyperus brevifolius, is another sedge weed. Mullumbimby couch has long, glossy green leaves that grow from a triangular stem. The Mullumbimby couch produces a centre stalk surrounded by curved leaves with a green seed head at the top of the stalk. Reaching up to 15cm in height, this unsightly weed will be eye-catching on your lawn or flowerbeds.
5) Burr Medic:
Burr medic, or Medicago polymorpha, is a common weed that will spread throughout your lawn. On each long, thin, creeping stem there will be a grouping of three leaves in a bunch. Burr medic produces sharp burrs that allow the seeds to be widely spread. It is a self-regenerating annual weed, making this unwanted plant a pesky problem to have in your garden.
Why Unwanted Plants are a Problem:
While weeds most commonly grow in places where they should not be, this does not necessarily constitute the need to pick up your gardening gloves and brushcutter. Unfortunately, unwanted plants often go beyond just bringing down the aesthetic of your garden. We have highlighted the three main reasons why unwanted plants can be problematic and why you should remove them.
While some unwanted plants are not pleasant to look at, other weeds are beautiful with a wild array of colourful flowers, luscious leaves, and interesting seed bunches. The problem with most unwanted plants is that they are an invasive species. Invasive plant species are usually highly competitive and will be able to grow and reproduce at a faster rate than your other garden plants. This allows them to take over quickly and use up valuable water, sunlight, and nutrients, which often results in the death of your beloved garden plants or lawn.
A garden filled with unwanted plants can become an unsightly place. A lawn that is dappled with dandelions or a flowerbed overrun with purslane will bring down the aesthetic of your garden. If maintaining a beautiful garden is a passion of yours, then the arrival of aggressive weeds can bring down the enjoyment of your garden space.
Unwanted plants often come with unwanted pests. Different plants attract different insects, and the weeds in your garden may bring in an insect that disrupts the ecosystem of your garden. Weeds also harbour different plant diseases which can be catastrophic for the health of your favourite garden plants.
Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Plants in Your Garden:
If you have weeds in your garden, you are probably itching to have them successfully removed. Weed removal is tricky due to the hardy nature and fast growth rate associated with unwanted plants. We have outlined three ways that you can get rid of unwanted plants from your garden.
1) Trim with a Brushcutter:
If you have gone away on holiday and returned home to a wild overgrowth of weeds in your garden, an effective method to cut down on the weeds is to use a brushcutter. A brushcutter will trim down the weeds and return your garden to a neat and organised state. A brushcutter is especially handy if the weeds have thick, gnarled stems that make accessing the roots difficult.
The upside to trimming weeds with a brushcutter is that you will immediately not have any protruding leaves, flowers, or seeds in your flowerbeds or lawns. Trimming with a brushcutter is an effortless way to drastically elevate the aesthetic of your garden. The downside to trimming with a brushcutter is that this is not a way to fully remove the weeds as they will simply regrow. To make the brushcutter method effective, follow with a spray of natural herbicide to successfully kill the roots.
2) Natural Herbicide:
Another option to remove weeds from your garden is to use a natural herbicide. Natural herbicides are non-toxic, therefore reducing the risk of killing any wanted plants or posing any health problems to your family, pets, or the surrounding environment. You can purchase a natural herbicide or concoct your own mixture of vinegar, salt, and water to then spray onto the unwanted plant to successfully remove it.
3) Remove By the Root:
The ultimate way to remove any plant successfully is to pull it out by the root. You can use your hands, dig them out using a hand spade, or remove large clumps with a garden hoe. This method is fine for weed maintenance but can become laborious and time-consuming for a garden overridden with weeds. There is also the risk of disrupting the seeds when you pull out the unwanted plant that will just have you kneeling over and tugging at the roots again in a few months.
Tips for Unwanted Plant Prevention:
After you have gone through the time and effort of removing any unwanted plants from your garden, you are most likely eager to prevent any weeds from growing again. While weeds by nature are most likely going to come back, there are certain steps you can take to prevent your garden from becoming overgrown with weeds again. We have outlined three tips for preventing the growth of unwanted plants in your garden.
1) Create Barriers:
Bare soil is the perfect space for weeds to plant their roots. One way to prevent the growth of weeds in your garden is to create physical barriers on top of your garden soil. We have highlighted three common ways that gardeners use to keep their garden beds free from unwanted plants.
Mulch: Adding mulch to your garden is always an excellent idea as it retains moisture in the soil and provides your plants with useful nutrients, but it can also act as a barricade against the growth of weeds. Weed seeds usually sit just beneath the soil surface. By adding a thick layer of mulch to your garden beds, you will prevent the weeds from sprouting and growing.
Stones: Crevices between pathways going in between garden beds are a standard spot for weeds to thrive. To create a solid barrier, you can place small stones in the spaces between your pavers to prevent the growth of weeds. This weed prevention method has the bonus of adding a natural, finished look to your pathway.
Wood Chips: A thick layer of wood chips in your garden beds will act in the same way as mulch. The wood chips will prevent the weeds from growing and add a textured finish to your garden beds. Wood chips will also slowly start to rot, adding nutrients into the soil to benefit your plants.
2) Reduce Space:
Another way to prevent the growth of weeds in your garden is to not give them any space to thrive. In your garden beds, you can position your plants closer together. This will prevent the weeds from having any access to sunshine and thus reduce their ability to grow. You can additionally plant a ground cover plant that will keep all weeds at bay.
3) Consistent Weeding:
Consistent weeding is an effective method of preventing the overgrowth of weeds in your garden. When you notice one or two weeds popping their colourful heads up in your lawn or garden bed, simply remove them by the root. This will reduce the amount of weed growth in your garden as the weeds will not be allowed to spread their seeds or their roots.
Stihl Brushcutters at B&S Commercial Power:
Trim back on weeds in your garden with Stihl brushcutters from B&S Commercial Power. Stihl brushcutters are powerful, easy to use, and effective for cutting back long weeds, overgrown lawns, or gnarled bushes. From small lawn weeds to invasive bushes, you can cut down any weed with Stihl brushcutters.
Stihl brushcutters are expertly designed for comfort during extensive use. Stihl brushcutters are lightweight, ergonomically designed with a bike handle, and allow for easy large-scale cutting jobs. This makes Stihl brushcutters the best choice for tackling a large garden overgrown with weeds.
If you are eager to get rid of weeds in your garden with a Stihl brushcutter, we will happily deliver your purchased Stihl brushcutter to your home. We offer a quick and professional delivery service for all our power tools. No matter where you are in Southern Africa, you can enjoy the power and convenience of a Stihl brushcutter at your home.
Cut down on unwanted plants in your garden with our guide and Stihl brushcutters from B&S Commercial Power.