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weeds that grow on crops

Weeds that grow on crops

The Spruce / David Beaulieu

Curly dock (also called "curled dock" or "yellow dock") is more than just distinctive, it's also useful: curly dock serves as a home remedy to treat stinging nettle burns–though it can be toxic to consume.   You'll be able to identify curly dock by its greenish blossoms that cluster long thin flower stocks. After the flowers have dried and turned brown, they remain in place, making the plant easy to recognize. The flowers start out a much less distinctive light-greenish or reddish color. Blooming occurs in clusters in the form of multiple, long, skinny flower stalks at the top of the plant.

Polygonum cuspidatum goes by several other common names, including Japanese knotweed and fleece flower. Several other common names include the term, "bamboo," such as "Mexican bamboo." While its autumn flower does, indeed, look fleecy, "fleece flower" is just too dainty a name for so tenacious a weed!

While dandelions have multiple medicinal uses and can be eaten in salads or used to make wine, many homeowners would prefer to eliminate dandelions. Keeping dandelion seeds from germinating won’t be enough to get rid of dandelions. It’s possible to use herbicide to eliminate your dandelions, but the most effective and least harmful approach is to dig the flowers up from the roots.

Bittersweet (Celastrus)

A rather innocuous plant, common plantain can simply be mowed whenever you mow the lawn. Its relative, Plantago lanceolata is a similar weed, but with narrow leaves. Now a ubiquitous lawn weed in North America, broadleaf or "common" plantain was brought to the New World by colonists from Europe for its medicinal uses. Common plantain has many medicinal uses. Mashed, it can be used as a poultice for bee stings; the leaves can also be dried and made into a tea to treat diarrhea.  

Bgfoto / Getty Images

While many consider clover a “weed,” there’s really nothing wrong with having a little clover mixed into your lawn. The Irish consider various tripartite clover leaves (such as the one in the photo here) to be “shamrocks.” The tradition behind the shamrock is quite distinct from that behind four-leaf clovers.

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus )

Being an annual weed, crabgrass perpetuates itself via seed—millions of seeds. To control crabgrass, you’ll need to address the issue in spring when the plant is at its most vulnerable. The best option to kill crabgrass is to remove the plants by hand, roots and all. After that, use an organic fertilizer to encourage the growth of lawn grass which will crown the crabgrass out.

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducts research into the management of weeds and has developed integrated weed management (IWM) packages, that incorporate a number of varied weed control options, including chemical, physical and biological strategies, are vital for sustainable weed management in this state.

Weeds are estimated to cost Australian agriculture more than $2.5 billion per year. Understanding weeds and the various methods to control them ultimately reduces costs and improves productivity.

Weed populations that have developed herbicide resistance, where standard herbicide treatments are no longer effective, pose an increasing threat to WA’s agricultural production.