Identifying Weeds In Your Yard
It might be nice to have a filed manual that identifies weeds in your yard that could be placed on the bookshelf along with field manuals on song birds, wildflowers, or insects. The problem with weeds in your yard is it can be difficult to identify many of them as being weeds, unless you know exactly what to look for. This can especially be a problem in a wildflower garden, when many of the wildflowers look like weeds when they first sprout, and indeed, many of them are weeds in the sense they may not belong in the conventional garden.
Obviously, if something is sprouting in a place where you haven't planted anything, it's most likely a weed. A plant that is where a plant shouldn't be is one way to classify as a weed.
Know The “Good” Plants I - Another way to identify weeds in your yard is to know what the sprouts of the seeds you've planted look like. This is usually not difficult in a vegetable garden, especially if you've planted vegetables before. It's not at all difficult to distinguish between a bean sprout, a squash plant, corn, or most other vegetables from weeds. Picking out the weeds in a flower garden, where much of what you've planted is from seeds, can be a little more difficult.
Growth Pattern A Clue - One of the things that makes identifying weeds in wildflower gardens so difficult to identify is that wildflower seeds are usually scattered about and there may be a dozen or so different kinds of seeds involved. When planting seeds in a flower garden, which is really not done all that often, the seeds are usually confined to a rather small and well-defined area. Therefore, if you see little plants that all look the same, sprouting all over the place, they are probably weeds.
Know The “Good” Plants II - In identifying weeds in your yard, you can take the approach that bankers take in teaching employees how to look for counterfeit bills. Counterfeit bills made by different individuals will seldom look alike, and one never knows quite what to look for. Some counterfeit bills are very close to the genuine article, while others are easy to detect. What bankers do is train their employees how to recognize the genuine bill, by both look and feel. In other words, by knowing in great detail what a genuine bill looks and feels like, a counterfeit is often easily detected as it just doesn't look or feel right.
If you train yourself to know what the "good" plants look like, especially when they first sprout, plants that don't measure up when you first spot them, are probably weeds. Knowing fairly precisely what you're looking for can make it easier to single out the plants you don't recognize, the weeds.
When To Keep A Weed - Sometimes one has to let a weed grow for awhile to establish the fact that it is indeed a weed. This isn't always a bad idea. Some weeds after all can turn out to be rather attractive, and one definition of a weed is simply a plant that's growing where it's not supposed to or wasn't planned to. If the plant does turn out to be undesirable, make certain you pull it out before it blooms and goes to seed, and if necessary, dig out its roots completely.
Know The More Common Weeds - It won't hurt any to know what a few of the more common weeds look like, obvious examples being dandelions and thistles. And if it's an education you're looking for, you can always research weeds, weed types, and weed characteristics, eventually becoming an expert on the subject. Knowing your weeds can be very useful, and helpful to others whom you choose to give advice on the subject.
All things considered however, it's usually easier to be able to recognize the few types of plants you are planning to have in your yard than attempting to recognize the different types of weeds in your yard, which potentially are far greater in number.