The definition of a weed is “any plant that is unwanted or out of place in your garden landscape.” Weeds compete against cultivated plants for nutrients in the soil, as well as water and sunlight. In an urban landscape, weeds are considered unsightly and can create a place for insects and disease to proliferate.
Weeds are typically grouped into 2 categories based on their plant structure:
Weeds are also classified by their life cycle.
Just like flowers and other plants, they can be annual, biennial or perennial.
Why are weeds an ongoing problem in urban landscapes?
Weeds are genetically designed to germinate, grow and propagate faster than most cultivated plants. They are essentially adapted to spread. They can easily be distributed by animals, insects, topsoil and mulch. Unfortunately once weeds set root into your lawn or garden beds, they can remain there for a long time if not controlled properly. While most weed seeds only exist in the soil a few years, there is a small percentage that can remain dormant for decades, waiting for the right growing conditions to occur. To top it all off, most plants only produce a few hundred seeds, but weeds are especially prolific seed producers. One single weed can produce anywhere from 10,000 to over 100,000 seeds. It’s clear to see that if left untreated, weeds can rapidly take over a garden or lawn.