As we've discussed previously (see What Makes a Plant a Weed?), there's no hard and fast rule to say which plants are weeds and which aren't. The word 'weed' can refer to any plant that's growing in a place where it isn't wanted.
Of course, some plants make weeds of themselves more often than others - see our list of common UK garden weeds for some of the most widespread examples.
Types of Weeds
Broadly speaking, weeds can be sorted into four different categories based on their growing cycle:
- Annual weeds have a yearly growing cycle. They usually appear in the springtime and hang around until winter sets in. Fat hen, charlock and annual meadow grass are all examples of annual weeds.
- Perennial weeds have a life cycle lasting more than one year. They tend to be quite sturdy, and even if you pull them up, they can reappear if the taproot remains in the ground. Examples of perennial weeds include dandelion, dock and creeping thistle.
- Ephemeral weeds have multiple life cycles per year. They can reproduce quickly within a short period of time. Chickweed and groundsel are two common ephemeral weeds.
- Biennial weeds are so called because they have a two-year growing cycle. These weeds can be very difficult to get rid of - examples include hemlock and ragwort.
Getting Rid of Your Weeds
Some weeds are easy to get rid of - you can just pull them up or spray them with supermarket weedkiller. Others, especially those with deep roots, are tougher to remove. Some weeds may seem like they're out of your hair, then regenerate from a small fragment of root that you left behind in the soil.
If the weeds in your garden are giving you grief, call Lawn & Weed Expert on 0800 111 4958 to arrange a FREE survey. We'll visit your property, identify your weeds, and get them under control for good!
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