Though they may look pretty, please keep in mind all the pictured wildflowers above (photos taken in Hendricks County, IN) are non-native and invasive.
Common Chickweed is not the same as Star Chickweed, which is native to Indiana, it is instead a non-native, invasive plant (top left).
Bird’s Eye Speedwell is an invasive, non-native type of ivy that spreads and takes over lawns (top right).
Hairy Bittercress is a non-native, invasive plant from the mustard family (bottom left). Though it is an edible bitter herb, most of these plants have been sprayed heavily with pesticides because it is such a problem weed.
More commonly known as “Creeping Charlie,” ground ivy is another invasive, though pretty, non-native wildflower. This ivy can spread rapidly, taking over garden beds and lawns (bottom right).
However, this post is not to encourage you all to now go spray your lawns overtaken by these plants with Preen or other harsh chemicals/pesticides that are extremely dangerous for animals and humans!
Here are some safer ways to control your garden weeds:
- Spray Bottles
Fill one with undiluted white vinegar to get rid of the weeds and grass poking out of the cracks in your concrete, as well as ants and other insects — but be careful not to spray it on your plants; the high acidity could kill them.
Those weeds that pop up in the cracks of your walkways can be tough to eradicate. But salt can do the job. Bring a solution of about 1 cup salt in 2 cups water to a boil. Pour directly on the weeds to kill them. Another equally effective method is to spread salt directly onto the weeds or unwanted grass that come up between patio bricks or blocks. Sprinkle with water or just wait until rain does the job for you.
- Baking Soda
Looking for a safe way to keep weeds and grasses from growing in the cracks of your paved patios, driveways, and walkways? Sprinkle handfuls of baking soda onto the concrete and simply sweep it into the cracks. The added sodium will make it much less hospitable to dandelions and their friends.
- Pull Them Out!Put on some gardening gloves and go out there and get to pulling! This is good exercise and is more efficient to keep weeds out, especially when you pull up the full root system of the weeds.
Check out this article on weeding here.