Weeds are never a desirable garden dweller. They are green yet invasive; if you are not careful, they could quickly take over your landscape. And throughout the summer, weeds proliferate like crazy. Weeds are not a botanical classification of plants; rather, they are a highly subjective phrase generally associated with unwelcoming plants. In contrast to the more attractive garden or other wildflowers, weeds are typically wildflowers or plants with insignificant blooms or unsightly leaves.
It can be challenging to identify weeds and is usually not required. However, the first step toward effective control can help accurately identify the most significant weeds. Therefore, in this post, we have listed the typical weeds found in New Jersey.
Types of Garden Weeds
As stated above, weeds are not any specific plant. A weed is any plant that spreads vigorously where it shouldn’t. Sometimes, you prefer to leave weeds in your garden because they add aesthetic value. However, there are some weed species to watch out for. They are aggressive enough to smother other plants, take over your garden, and leave your yard disorganized.
Weeds, however, come in different types. The categories of weeds typically seen in gardens are mentioned below.
- Invasive: According to the USDA, invasive species are non-native or alien life forms which were introduced into a particular habitat. Therefore, they don’t have any natural rivals that could limit their development. As a natural consequence, invasive weed species can overrun native plants and alter the entire ecosystem.
Notably, the term “invasive species” encompasses not just plants but also animals, insects, birds, fungi, germs, and other living things
- Introduced: Like invasive species, “introduced species” are alien species introduced into a particular ecosystem. The majority of introduced weed species, intentionally or accidentally, are caused by human activities. Remember that not all introduced weed species are invasive.
- Noxious: The USDA classifies weeds as noxious if they have the potential to harm the land, wildlife, farming, or the general public. Noxious weeds can be both invasive as well as introduced. They may, however, also be non-invasive and native. In a nutshell, noxious weeds are troublesome plants that proliferate in undesirable locations.
12 Common Weeds in New Jersey with Pictures
You wouldn’t want weeds to thrive in your garden, though some of them could add aesthetic value to it. Weeds are after all wayward and invasive if left unattended, and you don’t want to risk the permanent beautify of your lawn or garden. To make it easy for you to weed out those unwarranted plants thriving in your garden, we have this list of 12 common weeds in NJ. Scroll down to read below.
|Edible||Yes, leaves and flowers|
Late summer and early fall see asters blooming, resembling daisies. They occur in various colors and sizes and often only cause issues with perennial crops.
The best technique to control aster’s spread is manually pulling the plants. However, pre-emergent herbicides that kill broadleaf weeds can also be used with extreme care.
|Edible||Yes, leaves and stems|
Aka cleaver, bedstraw is a broad-leaved weed considered serious in NJ. This weed is found in pastures and fields harvested for Christmas trees. Bedstraws are weeds that climb and have flimsy, branching branches.
The most effective method to control bedstraw is to use herbicides. Additionally, as this weed grows in uncultivated regions, it can be controlled with good cultivation.
3. Bamboo Grass
Though seen as an ornamental plant, bamboo grass can become invasive. It can be quite challenging to remove because the subsurface connections between all the branches make them one plant. Rhizomes from the bamboo grass plant proliferate and even expand beyond the initial growing site.
Post-emergent herbicides are great for controlling the invasion of bamboo grass.
4. Broadleaf Plantain
|Edible||Yes, leaves can be eaten raw or cooked|
Broadleaf plantains, which are weeds, are native to Central America and Europe and have nothing to do with plantain fruits. Physical characteristics of this weed include broad, flat, oval-shaped leaflets arranged in a shallow cluster, making it simple to identify. Broadleaf plantain seeds have been used medicinally for a long time despite being regarded as a weed.
The spread of these weeds in the garden can be effectively managed by pulling them out. Other options include mulching and applying a post-emergence herbicide to lawns.
5. Canada Thistle
Despite its name, this aggressively spreading perennial weed is native to Eurasia. The vast root system of thistles allows them to spread out many feet from the primary plant. It is this characteristic that aids in their fast spread. Canada Thistle can infest farms and pastures, but it is also most frequently found close to ditches and by the sides of roadways. Growing in colonies, mature plants can be up to 4 feet tall.
If a systematic approach is not used, it is really difficult to control this weed. You might begin by removing the first plants before they develop strong roots. After that, you can mulch your garden to keep it from encroaching on the surrounding landscape. Post-emergence herbicides can also be used during the spring and summer when the plant is most vulnerable.
Crabgrass is a grass weed frequently found in gardens throughout the USA, including New Jersey. It is a low-growing, annual grass that grows in the summer and spreads by seeds and node rhizomes. Crabgrass can reach a height of two feet when grown in optimal conditions without being disturbed.
Furthermore, this weed thrives in dry, warm conditions and often appears mid-spring through summer. Although it is a weed, crabgrass is mostly employed as animal feed, and humans can eat the seeds.
Crabgrass is invasive but manageable in most cases. However, it is essential to quickly employ control techniques before the grass produces seed, as the seeds are long living and can thrive for at least three years in the soil.
However, the growth of crabgrass can be effectively controlled by routine lawn mowing. A pre-emergence weed preventer can also be used to stop seeds from emerging. Other methods can involve hand-pulling the grass or applying a non-selective herbicide to spot-treat.
|Edible||Yes, flowers and leaves|
A typical garden weed, chickweed is most prevalent in the spring. It is an annual weed that thrives in fertile, damp soil. Additionally, this weed can flourish in shaded places. This weed is a breeding ground for plant viruses and insect pests in addition to being invasive.
Therefore, elimination is essential if you want your garden to grow healthily. Furthermore, if there is no prospective competition, chickweed can produce around 800 seeds and take up to 8 years to completely eradicate.
The good news is that annual chickweed is easily controlled. Chickweed can be avoided in gardens by mulching or by applying a pre-emergence herbicide in the early spring. The weeds can also be removed by hand.
The weed dandelion is widespread and frequently found on lawns. This edible plant emerges in the spring and bears clusters of yellow flowers. Although they are invasive, dandelions seem beautiful. So, if not controlled, this plant can spread out and colonize any ecosystem, including your garden and lawn.
Dandelions carry wind-borne seeds and vegetatively multiply due to their extensive tap roots. So it could be challenging to remove them by uprooting them. However, the deep roots in the soil must be severed to prevent them from returning.
Herbicides made to kill broadleaf perennial weeds or dandelions are the best option because uprooting weeds like dandelions is not the solution. However, mulching can occasionally successfully limit dandelion plants’ growth.
9. White Clover
The white clover is one creepy weed we would all like to get rid of. However, why creepy? Because the plant’s stems that come into contact with the ground turn into roots, which get vast and keep expanding quickly. One of the best ways to identify white clovers is to look for the three-lobe leaves and round white flower clusters.
You might find it interesting to learn that white clovers enrich the soil with nitrogen and that their blossoms draw pollinators. Therefore, some gardeners use white clovers to produce a more eco-friendly lawn rather than eradicating them.
Mulching the garden beds is one of the best techniques to eliminate white clovers. You can also uproot white clovers with your hands or apply herbicides to eliminate them.
10. Ground Ivy
Aka Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy grows well in both the sun and damp, partly shaded regions of gardens. This weed aggressively invades due to its toughness. Wild violet blossoms that Ground Ivy produces have a lovely appearance but can overwhelm your garden and consume all the soil’s nutrients.
One of the strongest traits of this weed is its ability to withstand even mows and quickly create a ground carpet on your lawn. Ground ivy will continue to expand if it is not contained, killing anything in its path.
The initial method to eradicate ground ivy can be repeated manual weeding. However, remember that to prevent this plant from returning, you must completely remove and destroy its root system. Another strategy to control Ground Ivy spread is growing grasses in shady areas. Doing so will limit the spread of this weed.
Lambsquarters is an annual summer weed that is fast-growing and edible. Although considered a weed, lambsquarters stems are quite nutritious and are often juiced or added to salads. However, after lambsquarters begin to mature, gardeners may seriously worry about it.
This weed can be especially troublesome on fields that raise vegetables, legumes, and sugar beets. Keep in mind that this weed quickly dries up the soil. This weed can be recognized by its triangular, scalloped leaves with a gray underside.
This weed can be choked by mulching. In addition, you can manually remove them or apply a powerful post-emergence herbicide.
12. Oxalis Yellow
|Edible||Yes, has a tangy flavor|
Oxalis Yellow, also called yellow wood sorrel, is a low-lying weed that reaches a height of 15 to 38 cm upon maturing. This plant is easily recognized by its buttery yellow flowers and light-green, clover-shaped leaves. The best places for Oxalis Yellow to flourish are open spaces, by the sides of roads, and close to waste areas.
The spread of Oxalis Yellow can be stopped by mulching the garden in the spring. Other methods for getting rid of this weed include hand pulling and broadleaf herbicide treatment in the spring or fall.
Applying herbicides is probably the easiest way to get rid of weeds, especially those that are tough to kill otherwise. However, other ways can also be followed to prevent the spread of weeds before they become invasive. These are the non-chemical ways to prevent weeds from lawns and gardens.
- Do not let the weeds seed. Pull them early when they are still young and tender.
- Stop the unintentional spread. Clean your garden tools after using them to uproot weeds. Doing so will stop the unintentional spread of weeds from one place to another.
- Mow your lawn regularly. This will keep weeds from producing seeds.
- Mulch your garden. Mulching will choke the weeds and suppress their growth.
- Use household chemicals to burn the weeds. For example, you can use chemicals like vinegar, bleaching powers, or slat to burn the weeds above the soil level.
- Manual weeding. If the invasion is at its earliest stage, you can always resort to manual weeding. However, remember that repeated hand-weeding would be needed to ensure you are not left with any unwanted weeds in the garden.
Here is a list of commonly found weeds in NJ:
• Bamboo grass
• Evening primrose
• White clover
• Ground ivy
Please refer to the post above to learn about these weeds in detail.
Some weeds that are the toughest to kill include
• Ground ivy
• Poison ivy
• Canada Thistle
• Johnson Grass
Hand-weeding is effective only when you have a handful of weeds. This strategy is also helpful in removing weeds that are young, tender, and yet to set seeds.
So, this was all about the common weeds found in New Jersey. You might have found many weeds that you have already read in our previous posts. Whatever the weed may be, the thumb rule is to start controlling them early to restrict them from invading your whole garden.
However, if you want to grow any of these weeds, we recommend growing them in separate planters or in a section of the garden which is devoid of any vegetation.