10 weeds you need to know "in person"
Weeds are bad. They prevent cultivated plants from growing. Some wild grasses and shrubs are poisonous or may cause allergies. At the same time, many weeds can be of great benefit. They are used both as medicinal herbs, and as an excellent mulch or component of green fertilizer, and as a means of repelling harmful insects and rodents. But in order to properly fight or use this or that plant for the good, it must be recognized. In this article we will talk about 10 weeds that are often found in gardens, which are important to “know by sight”.
Not all of them are beneficial. But most are very tangible. True, despite the useful qualities of many weeds, few gardeners are able to calmly tolerate their presence on the site. And here everything goes into the matter - choppers, and plane cutters, and herbicides, and manual weeding.
Regarding herbicides, two opinions can be found: yes, of course, and - no, never. Choosing this method, it would be nice to think, what is worse - a weed or poison falling into the ground?
Recently, more and more supporters are attracted to natural farming - when they treat the earth as a living being. Understanding soil fertility in this case is not tons of mineral fertilizers and pesticides, but the use of gifts of nature for its own good.
A thick layer of mulch from mowed grass will retain moisture in the soil, prevent the roots of plants from overheating and inhibit the growth of weeds, thereby freeing the person from exhausting work.
Sowing some siderates, in the literal sense of the word, saves from weeds. Oats and rye, for example, are known aggressors, and weeds do not grow next to them. A thoughtful and careful attitude to the land will return fertility to the soil and save you from unnecessary and tedious work.
Ambrosia (Ambrosia) Is one of the most malicious weeds known to mankind. A plant with openwork foliage as an adult often exceeds a height of 1.5 meters. The root system is powerful - the core root goes 3-4 meters deep.
Ambrosia feels great on any soil and in any weather and climatic conditions. Growing rapidly, weed thickets suppress everything that grows nearby. But this is not the worst disaster this weed bears.
The flowering of ragweed is becoming a real disaster for people with allergies. The pollen of a plant with wind travels considerable distances. Therefore, ambrosia must be fought in the most irreconcilable way and in no case should its flowering be prevented. There is no benefit from her!
Read more about ragweed and ways to combat it in our material Caution - ragweed! How to destroy a health hazardous weed?
2. Pink sow thistle, or Cirsium field
Cirsium field (Cirsium arvense) - prickly grassy shrub. It can be easily recognized by inflorescence - a bright pink or purple fluffy basket.
Pink sow thistle breeds, like all other species of this plant - by seeds that have fallen into the ground, and with the help of rhizomes. Spreading in different directions, the roots of the weed give a shoot that easily captures more and more new sites. In fields where no one interferes with him, sow thistles suit real impenetrable thickets. But in the gardens, of course, you need to fight sow thistle from the first days of its appearance, without waiting for the flowering to begin.
Despite all its harmfulness, sow thistle has some positive qualities. In folk medicine, boils and wounds are treated with chopped leaves and stems, applying the mixture to the affected area. Young, non-coarse plants go to livestock feed or compost.
3. Field bindweed
Probably every gardener met this lovely-looking plant. Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), in the people it is also called a birch, appears immediately after the snow melts. Perennial creeping plant with a very long root - up to 3 meters or more. The shoots are thin, 1-1.5 m in length, covered with small triangular leaves.
The bindweed blossoms with large bells of white, pink or lilac color. Propagated by seeds and root offspring. For support, the weed selects the stems of cultivated plants and, growing, can greatly harm plantings.
However, like many other weeds, the bindweed has a number of positive qualities. In folk medicine, it is used as a medicinal plant. Decoctions and tinctures from bindweed are taken in the treatment of bronchitis, various bleeding, bronchial asthma, liver diseases and other diseases. It has been noticed that the juice of the plant prevents the formation of mold and fungi, therefore, ringworm juice is treated as a folk remedy.
In the garden, bindweed can also be used to good use. Experienced gardeners say that on those beds where loach occurs, plants are less likely to be affected by fungal diseases and rot. This plant also enriches green fertilizer, compost and mulch.
4. Canadian Small Arbor
Small canadian (Erigeron canadensis) - the weed that is often found in the gardens, the people have several names at once - “flea death”, “shut up goosno”, “helm”, “ostudnik”, “Canadian cone”.
A grassy annual with a main stem of the most various heights - from 15 cm to 2 m. Numerous shoots extending from the conductor form a neat bush with small green leaves. Flowering occurs at the ends of the shoots. In late summer, small flower baskets form on them, in which seeds ripen.
If you do not fight with small petals, it will easily spread over the site with the help of seeds. On fertile fertile soils, the weed turns into a powerful bush that inhibits cultivated plantings.
Small petals are widely used in folk medicine as alcohol tinctures or decoctions. These funds are used as hemostatic for various bleeding, as well as anti-inflammatory for eye diseases, diarrhea, cystitis, prostatitis.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) - perennial herb of the aster family. You can recognize wormwood by heavily dissected leaves of a bluish color with a tart aroma.
At the beginning of growth, the plant forms a rosette of leaves, with time a ribbed stem appears, the leaves on which closer to the apex become smaller and change color to green. Inflorescences are a loose panicle from small baskets.
Common wormwood - a plant rather useful. It only becomes a weed, occupying someone else's territory in the garden. Many types of wormwood are used by landscape designers when creating their masterpieces. Decoctions of leaves are used to control pests, and bunches of dried wormwood are laid out in places where rodents visit. The sharp smell of wormwood for a long time scares away both of them.
Wormwood leaves contain all kinds of bitterness, acids, tannins, resins, carotene and vitamins. Thanks to this set, the plant is used in folk medicine for a variety of diseases - digestive disorders, tuberculosis, articular rheumatism, depression, anemia, flatulence, diseases of the liver and gall bladder, hemorrhoids and many others.
6. Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)probably the most famous weed in our gardens and, without exaggeration, the most useful. This perennial herbaceous plant sometimes grows above 1.5 meters.
Opposite leaves with serrated edges are pubescent with thin hairs of different lengths, while short hairs are simple, and long ones are burning. Everyone knows how nettle burns - red blisters appear on the skin, and the damaged area “burns”, as if from a real burn.
Nettle grows well in moist shady areas and is very annoying to gardeners. Often it grows from the center of a cultivated plant and it is not easy to remove it - it is not possible to tear up the root, and the ragged stem instantly grows again.
The useful properties of nettle more than cover its harm, and some summer residents specially plant this weed in their area. Green fertilizer (infusion of weeds) from nettle contains all the trace elements necessary for plant growth. Mulch and compost with the addition of this plant acquire additional beneficial properties.
Nettle is widely used in folk medicine as a hemostatic agent. Nettle infusion improves blood coagulation, increases hemoglobin and generally improves blood. Diuretic and choleretic effect, anti-inflammatory property - you can list for a long time.
A decoction of dried leaves is used in cosmetology to rinse hair with oily scalp and dandruff. And, probably, each of us, if you haven’t tried, then probably heard that nettle leaves scalded with boiling water are added to spring salads and soups as the best vitamin remedy. So this is a big question - is the nettle weed?
7. Dodger, or Boa constrictor grass
Dodder (Cuscuta), without exaggeration, the enemy is the number one of all plantings. This weed is able to kill not only flowers and vegetables, but also shrubs - raspberries, lilacs, currants and others.
There are different types of grafts, but they all belong to quarantine weeds that need to be eradicated. Although eradicating is a purely conditional term, because it moves along the surface of the soil.
The dodger looks like a thin smooth cord devoid of leaves. Depending on the species, its shoots can be thin or powerful, yellow or reddish in color.
The weed weaves the plant, attaching itself to it with suction cups, and draws the juice from both the leaves and the shoots. It is very difficult to fight the dodger, because it’s worth at least a piece of the stem 1.5-2 cm long to drop - a new plant will develop from it. If you do not notice the dodger on the site in time, then you can lose not only vegetables, but also shrubs.
Therefore, it is important to regularly inspect your possessions and remove the enemy as soon as he appears. Weeds should not be given to livestock - this can cause poisoning. When harvested, the harvested forest is burned, if possible, in place, so as not to smash it over the site. Breeding is best propagated in warm, damp weather. In the dry season, the dodder can burn on its own if it grows in the open.
Dodger is a rare weed that does not have positive properties.
8. Quinoa and gauze
Quinoa (Atriplex) and pigweed (Chenopodium) Is not the same plant. These are close relatives, so similar that even specialists can hardly distinguish between them. They are not only similar in appearance - the biological characteristics of these plants are also not very different, therefore it is customary to consider all of them as a quinoa.
Numerous species of quinoa can be both annual and perennial plants. On fertile loose soils, quinoa can turn into a real giant, on poor soils it grows poorly and looks inconspicuous grass. Tolerates even saline areas.
The bluish triangular leaves of the quinoa, as if sprinkled with flour, are arranged alternately on a juicy stalk. Floral panicles emerge from the axils of the leaves along the entire length of the shoot. There are three types of seeds on a quinoa: some sprout immediately upon reaching the ground, others will sprout the next year, and still others may lie in the ground for 10 years and only then be born. Nature here took care that we did not suddenly find ourselves without such a valuable product. And he is really valuable.
The green mass of quinoa added to compost or infusion of weeds will enrich the organic matter with nitrogen. In addition, quinoa is edible, and many use it to make vitamin salads. In the hungry years, quinoa was added to the dough for baking bread, and this plant often became a real salvation from hunger.
In folk medicine, a decoction of quinoa is used in the treatment of inflammatory processes in the throat, with cough, as a sedative for various neuroses. Seeds remove toxins and are often used as a laxative and emetic for poisoning.
9. Wheat grass creeping
Wheat grass creeping (Elytrigia repens) Is one of the most famous and difficult to remove weeds. This perennial plant with a height of 40 cm on fertile moist soils can form impenetrable thickets more than a meter high.
Leaves are long, smooth, bright green. Inflorescence is a complex spike. Propagated very actively by seeds and creeping rhizome. Moreover, it is worth a little damage to this rhizome, and the plant will respond with the appearance of a bunch of new offspring.
Wheatgrass, although it is considered a malicious weed, also found its place in folk medicine. The leaves of the plant contain ascorbic acid, carotene and alanine, and the rhizomes are rich in malic and ascorbic acid, fructose and many other useful trace elements.
Decoctions and tinctures from rhizomes have enveloping, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and diaphoretic properties. Most often, wheat grass is used to cleanse the blood and remove toxins from the body. Fresh leaf juice is used in the treatment of colds and skin rashes.
Species milkweed (Euthorbia) quite a lot, and they all look different. What unites them is the milky juice that appears on the breakage of the stem. Getting on the skin, milk can cause irritation, as it contains toxic substances. For the same reason, do not feed the euphorbia to animals.
All species of milkweed are prickly and have a powerful root system with a rod root. Growing, the weed deprives cultivated plants of moisture and nutrients. Euphorbia prefers rich fertile soil, so its appearance on the site, although undesirable, still serves as some indication of soil fertility.