top of page

To Every Weed (Turn, Turn, Turn) There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

Marjory Blare, Master Gardener

As you get excited about the growing season really getting going, you may also be seeing weeds popping up amongst your more intentional plantings. Wondering what you can do to keep those weeds in check? Read on for information from Master Gardener Marjory Blare on identifying weeds and some ideas for managing them.

To Every Weed (Turn, Turn, Turn) There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

Weed: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth especially : one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.

It is late spring, and I stand looking with satisfaction at the bucket of prickly lettuce seedlings at my feet, but make the mistake of glancing back at the hillside of shrubs and perennials. With a wilting feeling, I start seeing the vast number of Purselane and Spotted Spurge seedlings.

By mid-summer Lambs Quarters, Redroot Pigweed, and Ragweed (achoo!) will have germinated.

I know that come early fall I will be seeing Horseweed and Pineapple-weed. 

Identifying weeds can give you information on how to get rid of them, which are invasive, which are edible and which ones toxic or irritating to humans and/or animals. Knowing which weeds you have can tell you if you have compacted soils, rich soils or soils deficient in various nutrients. They can be annual (come up every year from seed), perennial (overwintering roots), or biennial (weeds that form a basal rosette the first year and produce flowers and seeds the second year). Weeds commonly germinate in the spring, some germinate in the fall, and there are others that come up just when you think your flower beds, pathways and gravel drives are weed free. Then, oh dear, there are the ones that can germinate, set seed and germinate again! Here are a few weeds you might encounter.

For more resources on identifying and managing weeds:

If you have a plant and want to know if it's a weed, this UMN Extension link will help you.

Here is the Extension site for lawn weeds and what to do about them.

The DNR has this site to help you identify invasive weeds, and what to do about them,  including reporting certain weeds to the DNR.

Here is one link to edible weeds, but, look for the coming Buzz article on edible weeds.

Weeds of the Upper Midwest by Teresa Marrone 

This is a book highly recommended by Dakota County Master Gardener Sally Macnamara

“I know a weed when I see it. Although identifying a weed is not strictly necessary, it can be satisfying to know the enemy.”  - Marjory Blare

Photo Credit: Marjory Blare (1,3,4,5) & (2)

bottom of page