With dozens of native and adapted flowers, plants, grasses, and trees, you'll find many magnificent gardens throughout Sacramento, both on public and private lands. You might even see majestic yellow poppies, which have been the state flower since 1903. With so many stunning varieties of natural flora to see, it would be a shame to have them smothered by weeds. Unfortunately, some weeds have adapted just as well to the local climate over the years. These common weeds, including many familiar species, might be lurking in your garden.
It might seem strange that the same species growing in your yard can be harmful to your garden. But such is the case with annual bluegrass. Annual bluegrass is a hardy, fast-growing species that thrives on little rainfall and abundant sunlight. While these are great features for creating a luscious, healthy yard, it also means that you need to be vigilant about keeping bluegrass from invading your garden. If you don't want to use herbicides and chemicals to control the spread of grass, build a physical barricade between the garden and the rest of your yard.
Annual ryegrass is another type of grass that doubles as a weed. It is identifiable for its dark green blades and single stalks that have a glossy appearance and no hair underneath. If left untrimmed this grass grows quickly, and it can reach a height of three feet if it is not mowed. Like annual bluegrass, it grows quickly and kills other plants and flowers in the garden.
Black medic is a low-growing, sprawling weed. Despite the name, it is recognizable by its bright yellow flowers. It also has leaves that look like those of a clover. Similar to clover, its flowers grow in clusters. This weed is classified as a broadleaf. It prefers drier soil with little nutrients. Therefore, spreading fertilizer in your garden and keeping the soil moist and healthy will deter this species.
Black nightshade is characterized by oval or triangular leaves. It appears as a relatively tall plant with a straight stalk and branches. Small white flowers appear on its branches in the spring. Black nightshade also produces berries that start as a green color and turn black as they ripen. This plant can reach heights of three to four feet.
Also called "Indian tobacco," this weed is one of the most distinct. It features a tall stalk that can reach four feet. On top of that are large stalks covered with flowers that range from white to pink and red. The leaves are long, broad, and sometimes curled or wavy. With seedheads that grow even through the coldest months of the year, the broadleaf dock is one of the most stubborn weed species. This one is another that prefers poor soil, which means keeping your garden adequately hydrated curtails its growth.
Broadleaf plantain has sprawling broad leaves and upright flower stems. It produces either green or white flowers in the spring. This species is one of the most aggressive types of weed, and it can even survive trampling and mowing. If you suspect you might have this weed in the garden, contact a lawn care professional for assistance with removal, as it spreads quickly and is hard to kill.
Although buttercup flowers look pretty with their bright yellow hues, they can wreak havoc on a garden. Buttercup plants produce flowers that look similar to daisies, but they tend to sprawl more than any member of the daisy family. In the wild, they commonly appear near drainage ditches and along the sides of streams.
Dandelion is another common species that might not come to mind as an aggressive weed. What makes dandelion challenging to control is that its seeds blow easily on the wind. This means that after one strong gust, you can end up with a weed-infested garden. Dandelion prefers sunlight and moist soil, but it is adaptable to many conditions.
Once you remove weeds from your garden, you'll be able to enjoy many beautiful native species.
Austin Griffith's Manzanita
This lovely species produces beautiful white bell-shaped flowers that range from white to pink in color. The bark of the manzanita is red, and its leaves appear as a dark glossy green. This plant's nectar is a favorite for hummingbirds.
Sunset manzanita is an evergreen shrub that can reach a height of three feet and a spread of six feet. It resembles the Austin Griffith's manzanita in its dark green leaves. It also has red bark, but the bark of this manzanita is slightly darker than the Austin Griffith's. It prefers well-drained soil and produces small but colorful white or pink flowers.
Western redbud is unique because it can be either a shrub or a tree. It is native to the Western United States and adapted to the hot, dry climate of the desert Southwest. This colorful species produces deep pink flowers that grow in clusters. It is another variety that attracts pollinators. Western redbud grows well in clay soil. It does require occasional watering in the summertime, which is useful for keeping certain weeds away.
The desert willow can also grow as a shrub or a tree. It is characterized by long, narrow leaves and pretty white or pink flowers. This species begins blooming in May and continues producing flowers through early fall. It prefers light watering in dry conditions, making it another good choice to keep weeds that thrive in dry soil away.
California's warm, moderate climate is conducive to the growth of many floral species. In fact, California has one of the largest flower industries in the country. But the same conditions that cause its plants, flowers, and trees to grow can also invite the spread of weeds. From common grasses to dandelion and nightshade, many weeds can grow just as well in the local environment. Since they can spread rapidly and be difficult to manage, it's best to consult a professional lawn care company for assistance.