Weeds : who are they ? What to do to avoid invasion ?

The gardener is confronted throughout the year with the proliferation of weeds, commonly called weeds. These local wild plants grow spontaneously where their presence is not desired, are very resistant and have a great dispersal power so that they can prove to be invasive. Be careful though, many of the so-called weeds have a usefulness in terms of the ecosystem, some are even edible or even used in herbal medicine. Anyway, let’s see some examples of particularly troublesome plants in the garden. Let’s also discover how to reasonably control the famous herbs, certainly spontaneous but which are ultimately not as bad as they say.

The toughest weeds in the garden

At the planetary level, the spontaneous flora has thousands of species. In France, some are common to all regions, others only develop in very specific climates. So let’s take a look at some very common weeds that make life difficult for the gardener.

  • The creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), this famous bouton d’or which it takes little time to invade an entire garden. To eliminate it, it is absolutely necessary to remove all its stolons as well as its root because this Ranunculus grows quickly and in all directions.
  • The field bindweed (A convolvulus of the garden), very proliferating, can cover nearly 30 m² in three months.
  • The quackgrass (Elytrigia creeping), has creeping rhizomes. It is necessary to take care to remove the slightest rejection as soon as it appears to avoid its proliferation, and especially not to fragment the parts of the quackgrass because the smallest piece gives birth to a new foot.
  • The Field mustard (Mustard plant), recognizable by its yellow flowers which bloom from June to October. It is better to cut its flowers as soon as they appear so as not to give them the possibility of going into seeds because these are easily disseminated.
  • L’Oxalis (Oxalis corniculata), is a small perennial with a strong capacity for dissemination that quickly becomes invasive.
  • The Chickweed (Stellaria media), which is best removed as soon as it appears because a single plant can produce 2,000 seeds.
  • The field thistle (Cirsium arvense) multiplies significantly.
  • The Rampant Potentille (Potentilla reptans) particularly likes soils that are very rich in nitrogen. It is necessary to extract its long roots to get rid of it.

Of course, we cannot list all plants that are considered weeds here. You have to be vigilant so as not to give them time to invade the outdoor space by eliminating them as soon as possible, which sometimes involves going to find their roots very deeply.

Avoid the invasion of weeds in the garden

Rather than absolutely wanting to exterminate them, it is much more acceptable to control weeds to prevent their invasion. To do this, there are different methods to prevent their installation in the vegetable garden, in beds and lawns, in paths and between the slabs of the terrace.

Weeding without any herbicide product

We can mechanically remove weeds as soon as they appear with different hand tools such as the towel, the knife, the grelinette, the weeder, the hoe and the gouge. A spade is also used when preparing the ground. It is necessary to hoe at the right time, that is to say in the morning when there is plenty of sunshine to promote the rapid drying of the weeds that have been dislodged. On the other hand, we avoid weeding in rainy weather.

As for the thermal weeder, it is also very useful to avoid seeing your garden path colonized by weeds.


Depriving unwanted weeds of light is a good solution to prevent them from growing since thedarkness hinders the germination process. For this, all you need is a fairly thick mulch. You can lay a plastic mulching film, use flax flakes, cocoa pods, crushed bark, hemp, or even spread dead leaves and mowing residues.

Ground cover plants

If you want to avoid the proliferation of wildflowers in certain areas of the garden, it is possible to grow ground cover plants. They quickly form a ground cover the most beautiful effect and leave little chance for weeds to settle. Well-known ground cover plants to prevent weeds from growing include:

  • The St. John’s wort with large flowers (Hypericum chalice),
  • The lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor),
  • The Ivy non-climbing ground cover (Hedera algeriensis Bellecour),
  • The big root geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum), a hardy perennial geranium,
  • The Pachysandre (Pachysandra terminalis),
  • The plant of cobblers or Bergénie (Bergenia crassifolia) …

So that’s enough to beautify your garden and considerably limit weeding sessions!

Adjust Fertilizer Additions to the Garden

Many weeds grow where the soil is very rich in nitrogen, potassium or even phosphorus. A good regulation nutrient inputs can limit the proliferation of particularly greedy weeds.

Grow gourmet vegetables

Like turnips, many vegetable plants quickly deplete the soil of nutrients. In this way, weeds are largely in competition and consequently they end up becoming rare.

Too many amateur gardeners still want to systematically eliminate all weeds because they find them unsightly – simply a matter of taste – or even too competitive with plants grown in the garden. However, the management of weeds must be done with intelligence and respect. It’s necessary learn to tolerate them when needed by foraging insects and garden helpers.

Rather than doing everything to eradicate them indiscriminately, it is better to learn to to master the most rebellious wild flowers by non-aggressive means, non-polluting, and agree to integrate the others into the vegetable garden or the pleasure garden as soon as their competition can prove beneficial to the cultivated plants. We can therefore content ourselves with eliminating only those which serve as a natural reservoir for bio-aggressors which are dangerous for vegetable or ornamental plants.

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