Weeds to Watch Out For and Remove

  •  European Buckthorn seedlings

 European  Buckthorns are on the Noxious Weeds list for Ontario because they are a host plant for oat rust fungus.  While you may think ‘there’re not a lot of agricultural crops nearby, so it doesn’t matter…’ birds spread the seeds far and wide.  There are many people in the neighbourhood who don’t recognize the plant or realize that it is a noxious weed, so there are many sources  of seeds.  Learn to recognize the seedlings (see pictures on the Noxious Weeds list) and pull them as soon as you see them.

  •  Ash tree seedlings

 The White ash in the backyard is invaluable as a source of shade for the house and leaf mulch for the garden beds, BUT it drops gazillions of seed keys!   In spring most of them germinate!  Learn to recognize them at the seed-leaf stage and pull them then.  Once they get their true leaves, they also get a long, deep taproot that makes them harder to pull.  Even when they are this small they can be difficult to pull, so be alert to the seedlings and yank them as soon as they appear! 

This clover-looking weed is a pest in several areas of the garden, particularly in the front bed in the section shaded by the garage in the afternoon.  Pull any you see any time you pass by that area. 

  • Garlic Mustard weed 

This is a particularly nasty weed because it is aleopathic – it puts chemicals in the soil that kill or weaken other plants growing nearby.  It is a biennial that produces a basal clump of rounded leaves in the first year and, in the second year, produce smaller, more pointed leaves and a flower spike of small, white flowers.  It sets lots and lots of seed.  The seeds can survive for years in the soil so, even if you don’t let any plants set seed, you may still get seedlings from the seed bank in the soil.  Unfortunately, the neighbor to the south has a large colony of them under the large junipers at the end of his driveway, and elsewhere on the property.  So we get lets of seedlings….  They start growing in spring before much else is green, so they are easiest to see then.  Watch for them and remove any you see, particularly the second year plants that will flower and set seed!


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