When you think of maintaining your garden and your landscaping, weed control is likely one of the first tasks you focus on. After all, weeds are unsightly and can make even the healthiest landscaping look unkempt and disheveled. However, while some weeds may be detrimental to your garden and your trees, others are not. Here are a few of the most common weeds we see in Colorado and why Denver landscaping companies won’t panic when they see them in your yard.
These friendly yellow flowers are a common sight in most Colorado yards and, for many homeowners, can be a source of dismay. Though this weed can spread quickly, it’s actually beneficial for your yard. The deep roots help bring nutrients up through the soil, making them accessible to other plants and trees. This helps your trees grow more efficiently and more effectively throughout the year. Best of all, they pose no threat to your kids or pets. If a wayward child chooses to eat a dandelion, it shouldn’t cause any digestive issues. In fact, the entire plant is edible and can be harvested from yards that do not utilize chemical treatments on their grass or landscaping.
Believe it or not, lambs quarters are a member of the spinach family and are thus edible, much like dandelions. However, their greens toughen when left in the soil for too long. Look for these triangular-shaped leaves in your yard in late spring and early summer. Though not harmful to established trees, lambs quarters can grow tall when left in the ground. If you have flower beds or young trees, these weeds can shade them, causing your landscaping to wither or grow poorly. If you see the weeds encroaching on sensitive areas of your yard, avoid the weed killer and dig them up yourself. Use a small trowel to fully remove the roots from dry soil. If the soil is damp, you may be able to remove the entire plant with a firm tug. Grab the weed close to the base and pull firmly.
Bindweed produces lovely flowers in the late spring and early summer, but it’s one of the most troublesome weeds in Colorado. Though not poisonous, it can spread quickly, choking out flowers, bushes, and even young trees indiscriminately. The weed is incredibly hardy and survives even moderate drought with ease, but it can be controlled. Like dandelions, this weed spreads quickly and requires frequent pulling to rid it from your yard. Leaving behind even the smallest bit of root will allow the weed to regrow. However, if you continue to pull it up anytime you see the weed, it will eventually die out.
Kochia is from the same family as lambs quarters but can grow even larger and spread even more rapidly when left unaddressed. Though not a hazard to established trees, the weed can damage the shallow root systems of younger saplings and shade out both flowers and vegetable gardens quickly. Look for a plant with oblong leaves that have a grayish fuzz on top and a purple tint on the underside of each leaf. Pull the weed as close to the base as possible. Unlike dandelions, you should be able to remove the entire root with a gentle tug. Kochia’s root system is incredibly shallow and while it makes it easy for the weed to spread, it also makes it easy to remove.
Not all weeds pose a hazard to your plants and landscaping. In fact, chickweed is one that you really should leave to grow in your yard. The weed is characterized by small white flowers that bloom on top of triangular shaped waxy green leaves. The weed is typically found in undernourished soil and leaving it to grow in your garden bed and landscaping will actually help enrich the soil and return valuable nutrients to the dirt. Instead of pulling it, trim it back each month and spread a layer of mulch on top of the weeds. This will reduce the growth of the chickweed while also encouraging the weed to break down and decay. Once the full plant is decayed, the nutrients stored in the leaves and stems are reintroduced into the soil, enriching your garden without the use of expensive fertilizers.
As the name suggests, this weed is known for its pointy spines along the stalk and leaves of the plant. While easy to remove as a young shoot, prickly lettuce
grows stronger and more barbed as the roots spread. Though the weed is not harmful, it can be a bit of a nuisance in yards where small children like to go barefoot, pricking them anytime the leaves are stepped on. When left to grow, the plant can reach several feet in height and will spread year after year. Look for arugula-shaped leaves in early spring into late summer. Pull the plant as soon as you notice it growing, but take care to wear thick leather gloves when removing the lettuce. Standard fabric gardening gloves are typically not substantial enough to protect you from the spines.
Clover tends to show up in yards that lack nitrogen in the soil, causing underperforming blooms and unhealthy growing conditions. However, unlike most weeds, clover is almost entirely beneficial. The root systems are shallow, but as the plant grows, it helps to draw up nutrients, making them easier for nearby plants to access. Furthermore, the small white flowers attract both pollinators and ladybugs, improving your plant’s performance and reducing the presence of unwanted pests. However, the low-lying weed can spread over younger plants and you will want to keep it pruned away from new shoots.
Worried about the way a tree is growing in your yard or want some advice on how to handle weeds around your young trees? Contact Arbor Garden and schedule an appointment with our experienced arborist today. As Denver plant healthcare specialists
, we’ll be able to develop a plan to care for and maintain your yard’s trees year after year. Call (303) 722-8820 for a free estimate.