Yes, we all love the nice
weather. However, with the sun and lovely temperatures come weeds, the plants
we all love to hate. For a weed is simply a plant out of place, or better yet,
a plant you wish was any place other than your place!
My neighbor Karen and I have
the most beautiful color display going right now – dandelions. Yes, a bright
happy color and the finches love the seeds, but really, can’t one have too many
dandelions? That is of course, unless you are growing them for greens (high in
vitamin C) or wine. Karen says “Soon I won’t have any grass left!”
Another precious gift from
nature we are seeing in full bloom is redstem filaree or cranesbill. This late
winter, low grower is a member of the geranium family with small hot pink
flowers followed by seed pods that look like a crane’s bill. It is not really
much of a problem except those pods get stuck in socks, pets’ fur, etc.
Another visitor is so tiny
and close to the ground that you may miss it until its Velcro-like seeds get
stuck all over you or a pet. Bur buttercup’s 5-petaled yellow flowers don’t
look like they will be a problem. But, you better pull them out immediately to
avoid the clinging seeds and large future crops of these pesky weeds.
Flixweed is prolific right
now. At 8 to 24 inches tall topped with tiny yellow flowers, it is very much in
evidence and, while an annual and easy to pull, quite annoying. After blooming,
its stems will be covered with narrow cylindrical pods, which will provide
ample seeds for next year’s generation. A relative of flixweed, tumble mustard,
isn’t blooming yet, but its rosettes of leaves are growing like mad. It will
get 2 to 5 feet tall, dry up and then blow up against fences or walls
Cheatgrass is universal and
is already going to seed in many areas. It starts growing in the winter and,
depending on moisture availability, it will grow from 4 to 30 inches tall. It
has wavy purplish seed heads. This annual grass is one you want to get out
before it dries because of its high fire hazard. It burns like gasoline on a
fire, fast and furious.
While tedious, all these
weeds are easy to dig or pull.
For an excellent picture book on weeds, see Weeds of the West online at http://www.wyoextension.org/agpubs/pubs/wsws-1.pdf.
JoAnne Skelly is associate professor and Extension educator emerita, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.