Weeding - A Necessary Task in the Landscape

August 14, 2023

By Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

We weed every day at Bridge Gardens. Some of the most common weeds that we see are the following:


Yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

This North American native is often mistaken for clover because of its tri-partite leaves. It is an annual or perennial weed of gardens, farm fields and lawns and grows in sun or shade or just about anywhere, as long as it’s well-drained.

Growing straight at first, it quickly falls to the ground and begins sending up many branches. At the ends of these, clusters of yellow flowers appear from May to October. They become seed capsules that burst explosively and send seeds up to 10 feet or more in all directions.


Creeping oxalis, (O. corniculatus)

Another oxalis, creeping oxalis (O. corniculatus), is just as common as the above. Native to southeast Asia, it spread to Europe in the 1500’s and later to North America. As its name implies, it hugs the ground with stems covered with green or purple leaves, yellow flowers and explosive seed capsules.


Creeping spurge (Euphorbia prostrata)

Native to North America, but now spread throughout the world, creeping spurge (and the very similar spotted spurge, E. maculata) is a common annual weed of gardens and farm fields, as well as troubled lawns. It grows in any soil in full sun and forms a ground-hugging mat of many-branched stems, radiating around a central taproot.

Leaves are tiny ovals, green or grey-green. Flowers are also tiny, but prolific, blooming from July to September. They produce an abundance of seeds that can survive in the soil for years.


Nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus)

Called the “worst weed in the world,” nutsedge or nut grass is native to Africa, Europe and south Asia. Perennial, it has grass-like leaves, triangular in cross-section, 2-8 inches long, arising from numerous small tubers in the ground. Difficult to eradicate and resistant to most herbicides, it can take over gardens, farm fields and lawns and reduce crop yields.

To control these weeds, we pull by hand or scuffle hoe every week or mulch soil with wood chips or straw. Fabric weed barriers can also be effective. On paved areas, we sometimes spray a concentrated vinegar and horticultural oil solution.

Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.