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woman with red gloves pulling weeds in garden

5 Most Common Garden Weeds and How to Get Rid of Them

Weeds are, simply put, plants that show up uninvited in your garden. Many of them are invasive, fast-growing and incredibly annoying to remove.

It’s important to remember, however, that one gardener’s weed is another charming volunteer. For example, a yard peppered with wild violets can be absolutely charming to some, while others would prefer to break out the lawnmower at the first sign of those distinctive heart-shaped leaves.


Dandelion has many wonderful qualities and can be eaten in salads. But when they take over your yard, dandelions are a nightmare.

Dig them up, ensuring that you get the entire taproot. Otherwise, they’ll just come back–and multiply.

However, dandelion does have some defenders among gardeners who prefer to leave it alone as long as it is not threatening their plants.

Broad-Leaved Dock

This plant, which resembles Swiss chard, is a notorious weed. It can grow up to four feet tall and produces tens of thousands of seeds every year. It’s an invasive, non-native plant that has no business in our gardens or yards!

Use white vinegar on the plants as soon as the first leaves appear. You’ll have to keep spraying over a period of time until the taproot finally gives up.

Wild Onion and Garlic

You’ll recognize these spiky, grass-like weeds immediately from the smell. Hand pulling doesn’t help when it comes to these prolific bulbs; if you want to get rid of them, you’ll need to dig them up or choose an appropriate herbicide.

Get rid of these plants before they produce the white pods at their tips; that’s when they produce new bulb-lettes and spread even farther.

Sumac, Mimosa and Other Trees

While this gardener happens to think that mimosa trees are lovely in the spring, they’re still a pain if they happen to sprout in the middle of your garden. Squirrels and birds spread tree seeds all over the place, and in spring you may be surprised by what sprouts.

The key to getting rid of tree seedlings is early action. Once they develop a tap root–the large, fleshy white root that extends deep into the soil–they are much harder to pull. Use a shovel if necessary. Aggressive mulching can also help smother seedlings.

Yellow Wood Sorrel

Resembling clover, this plant (also known as oxalis) is a frequent stowaway in plants you buy at the nursery. It also pops up in your carefully mulched flower beds and in vegetable gardens.

Luckily, you can pull these up by hand without too much trouble.

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

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