Weeds are a total pain in the grass, and if you let them take over your yard and garden, they’ll do more than just cramp your style. Common weeds don’t carry ID cards, so if you want to kick them to the curb like a botanical club bouncer, you’ll need to recognize them and choose the appropriate method of elimination.  


Learn to ID These Common Weeds So You Can Ban Them From Your Garden 

As soon as you spot these uninvited guests in the yard, kick them out ASAP! The sooner you deal with them, the less likely they’ll reappear. These seven common weeds can put up a pretty good fight, so if you want to send them to the seven rings of hell, you’ll need a solid plan of attack.


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-dandelionDandelions

Description: You’re probably familiar with this common weed, but in case you need a refresher: dandelions have round yellow flowers with toothed leaves that emerge from the ground level. Their flower heads turn to fluffy puffballs when they start to seed.


How to Beat Them: Mature dandelions have very long, tough taproots, so pulling or hoeing them can be difficult. Try to pull them when they’re still young by grabbing them at the base and gently wiggling them out. Dandelions are edible, so if you haven’t used lawn chemicals in your yard, you can rinse your dandelions, eat the flowers and greens in salads, or use them to make dandelion wine.


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-crabgrassCrabgrass

Description: Low-growing, sword-like leaf blades appearing in mid-spring through summer.

How to Beat It: Crabgrass isn’t as aggressive as other common weeds, so the best defense against it is a healthy, well-watered lawn full of lush grass. Don’t cut your grass any shorter than 2.5 inches, as this makes it easier for crabgrass to take root. Pull crabgrass by hand before it goes to seed—the seeds can live for three years in the ground. Regular mowing can also prevent crabgrass from going to seed. 


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-creeping charlieCreeping Charlie

Description: A super low-growing groundcover with scalloped leaves and purple flowers, growing in a dense mat.

How to Beat It: Creeping Charlie can be very difficult to tackle, and if left untreated, it can drown out your lawn grass, spreading like wildfire. Your best bet is to pull it out by hand as soon as it begins to flower. You can also smother it with heavy mulch. Avoid DIY remedies like Borax and vinegar, as this will just sterilize the soil so that nothing will grow in its place.


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-pigweedPigweed

Description: This common weed is from the Amaranth family, so it grows tall seed stalks amidst a bed of foliage. There are many different varieties of pigweed, so the shape, size, and color of the leaves may vary, but they tend to be hairy. 

How to Beat It: Pigweed is a common broadleaf weed, so most herbicides intended for broadleaf species should be effective. Their seeds need light to germinate, so spreading mulch across the soil surface will help stop them from reemerging. 


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-chickweedChickweed

Description: Low-growing with round, pointed leaves and tiny white daisy-like flowers.

How to Beat It: Chickweed has shallow roots, so pulling it by hand is the easiest removal method. It’s a good idea to follow up with an application of pre-emergent herbicide in early spring to prevent seeds from germinating.  


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-Canada thistleCanada Thistles

Description: Long, toothy leaves with sharp, prickly edges and purple pom-pom flowers. 

How to Beat Them: Not going to lie; if you’ve found this notorious weed in your lawn, you’ve got your work cut out for you; even if a tiny piece of their long roots remains in the soil, they can grow back. If you tear the plant off, it may split into two new, separate plants. Your best bet is to use a combination of herbicides and continually cut off new growth with a sharp pair of scissors.


Dees Nursery -How to ID and Eliminate Common Weeds-bindweedBindweed

Description: A surprisingly pretty flowering vine weed with white, pink, or light purple flowers similar to Morning Glory. 

How to Beat Them: Cut off new growth with sharp scissors and pour boiling water over the top of it to kill the roots. Repeat the process regularly—this common weed has deep roots and is a very aggressive grower.  


If you’re struggling to ID a specific weed in your garden, or if you need some suggestions on herbicides or other control methods, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our experts! We have plenty of products and formulas available for killing common weeds on Long Island