5 Common Weeds You Can Find in Canada

by Sandra

We all have them some more than others. Some rarely come while others we can expect every year. Some are poisonous, and some are helpful. Some are dull-colored, and some have purple flowers. However, no matter the type of gardener you are, we can all agree that eventually weeds will show up and you will need to deal with them. These unwanted guests can pose a risk to the beauty of your lawn or garden as well as cause damage to surrounding plants.

Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of weed and how to get rid of them carefully. Below is a list of five common types of weed found in Canada:

  1. Canadian Thistle
    This weed is the most common type of weed found in Northern America. Canada thistle is a deep-rooted perennial that can live for several years if not dealt with properly. A strong competitor for light, moisture and nutrients, this weed can cause massive crop losses or damages to sunny lawns and gardens.
    The spiny, grey-green leaves characterize the Canadian Thistle. When allowed to fully grow, this weed will develop stems topped by lavender purple flower heads that open and release seeds.
    The Canadian thistle is hard to kill since the roots can extend into the ground 10 feet or more. Due to the extensive root system, a herbicide that attacks the roots is the only effective way to control this weed. You can also mulch your garden to prevent it in landscapes.
  2. Dandelions
    This weed is one of the most loved weeds across Canada. Although dandelions are pleasing to look at, they are not healthy for your outdoor space. The dandelion is a perennial weed that grows in humid areas with adequate sunshine. However, it can also grow in dry, shaded areas once established.
    A strong taproot with deeply notched leaves characterizes the dandelions. This weed also has yellow flowers that mature into puffballs that are produced on a hollow, upright stem. The seeds are like parachutes that fly away with the wind.
    If you are not a dandelion lover, there are several effective methods of getting rid of the weed. One of these options is mulching your garden to prevent the plants from growing in your garden. Another option is using your hands to pull them out of the ground since the roots are not that deep.
  3. Ragweed
    This weed can be either perennial or annual depending on the region. This weed likes growing in gardens that are in the sun or partial shade. Apart from causing damage to your lawn, this weed can also cause you many health problems. Each plant can produce about a million grains of pollen over a season. Since the weed is air pollinated, it is considered as the greatest allergen of all pollen.
    Almost ferny and finely cut leaves with a soft stem characterize the weed.
    Total removal of the weed has proven futile owing to the plant’s great seed producing ability. However, one efficient way for large-scale ragweed extermination is chemical spraying.

  4. Crab Grass
    This grassy annual weed thrives in hot areas and grows low to the ground. Also known as finger grass or pigeon grass this weed can grow up to 18 inches tall and 20 inches wide. Crabgrass is a super-fast growing weed plaguing many veggie gardens across Canada.
    The appearance of crabgrass is precisely what it sounds like—a grassy weed. This persistent weed develops roots anywhere the stem touches the soil.
    Although this weed is hard to deal with partly because it tends to wait for warm days to sprout, there is a way to win. You can mulch your lawn to prevent the weed from flourishing in your garden. If you want to use herbicides, pre-emergence herbicides are the best. You can also pull them out by hand if the infestation is not that big.
  5. Bindweed
    The growth of this broad leaf perennial indicates an area with poor drainage and often hardpan soil with a crusty surface. This weed has a deep-rooted system that competes with plants for water and nutrients. The vines can also climb on plants and shade the plants from growing.
    Arrow shaped leaves on twinning vines characterize this weed. The garden weed bears white to pale pink type of flowers.
    Once established, the bindweed is very hard to kill. This plant is very persistent since it can be spread by seed, root fragments, root growth from infested areas, and by animals. That is why an effective control program should be put in place to deal with the weed.

The best control should prevent seed production, kill roots, and prevent manifestation by seedlings. A combination of cultivating, post-emergence herbicides and competitive crops is the best way to deal with this invasive weed.