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Identifying the Nasty Weeds in Your Catskills Garden
You know them. You loathe them. For some, dealing with them is an endless and thankless chore, for others it’s… enjoyable? Or so I’ve been told.
You and I probably just know them as weeds. They aren’t supposed to be there, so they’re just a “weed” or some other improper name given in a fit. But like all plants, they have real names. Let’s find out what they are!
This snakelike vine wraps around any nearby plant and strangles it. If you aren’t careful, pulling it up brings some of your plants with it.
I know they’re good for adding nitrogen to the soil and all… but I’m not trying to lure rabbits into my garden. Get out of here!
They’re all over lawns and fields in May, and some people even make wine out of their blooms. Unfortunately, they don’t know when they’ve overstayed their welcome, and seem to thrive in the garden well into August. Do yourself a favor and get a tool like this to get the last of their awful taproots.
This one seems to pop up everywhere, in everything, all the time. Because of its color, it can blend in. Then one day you find it in with the pea plants, and it’s as big as they are.
Unfortunately, this Monarch butterfly plant is also a huge pain in the garden. We learned that the hard way, after letting some get out of control on our lawn last year. Now little sprouts are popping up every day all around the lettuce and beans. I’m never sure if I have the whole plant or not since their roots seem to be just a long tube.
Bluegrass, crabgrass, timothy, whatever – it’s not supposed to be there. Your home is ON THE LAWN, not in with the beets.
This small, flat weed looks like spinach, but it’s just a nuisance since it’s next to impossible to pull out of the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten it out in one piece!
This. This is the devil. This vile weed is everywhere, grows in everything, and shoots its obnoxious little head of yellow and white flowers up all over the place just to mock me.
This weed has leaves similar to a carrot’s, so of course that’s where I always find it. Pull them as soon as possible; once they get large, they’ll make you or someone you love sneeze uncontrollably.
I’m not convinced about its intelligence, but the flowers look a little like deformed brains. Apparently it’s native to North America, which means we can’t blame this pest on those meddlesome European botanists. Just like the other grass-like weeds, it must put down roots into the core of the earth, since the leaves and stems ALWAYS break off.
This is the worst one of all. It looks a lot like quickweed, but if you even brush against it by accident, you’ll have painful welts and numbness all day. And don’t even think about putting your throbbing hand, arm, finger, or anything else under cold water – that just makes the burning 10 times worse. Thankfully, a good pair of gardening gloves will keep their prickers out of you. I like this pair, but any with a decent protective coating will do the trick.
Now you know the names of those awful weeds in your Catskills garden. It probably won’t make pulling them in the hot, sticky sunshine with the bugs biting any easier, but at least you have names to berate them with!
One vegetable that doesn’t require too much weeding is summer squash. Here are some tips for growing them.