Out of control mystery plants

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by VMT, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. VMT

    VMT Member

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    Hello ... I certainly hope these pictures are not too small to identify the plants. The plants in the first two pictures have literally destroyed my lawn. They are easy to pull out now they are brown and dried but I fear they have freely seeded and I'll have a bumper crop next year. PLEASE. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF IT? The plant in the third pic, while not as invasive, also self-seeds freely (in the grass, garden, wherever there's soil). These are easily removed but what a chore.

    Thank you for your much needed help.

    ps: where do they come from? I have never seen either of them before a year ago.

    Veronica
     

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  2. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Assuming they're legally available where you are, pre-emergent herbicides are the best
    control along with hand pulling. The first two are Spotted Spurge, don't recognize the other one.
     
  3. VMT

    VMT Member

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    Thank you saltcedar ... your input is much appreciated. Veronica
     
  4. mort

    mort Active Member

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    number 2 looks like purslane which sadly spreads easily. The third looks like english daisy.
     
  5. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Agree that the first two are spotted spurge (not purslane). The third does look like Bellis perennis.
     
  6. VMT

    VMT Member

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    Many thanks to all who replied to my post. Veronica
     
  7. Andrey Zharkikh

    Andrey Zharkikh Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    To some extent, the lawn weeds can be controlled with "Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer with Weed Prevent", which essentially prevents seed germination and should not have much effect on the established grasses (if used sparingly). It also contains some stuff that makes dandelion overgrow and die.
    Unfortunately, it is probably accumulates in the soil, especially where it hits walls and bushes. When I tried to use the edge of the lawn for some plantings, for example, asters with perfect root system in the pot, my plants just died in a week.
     
  8. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  9. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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  10. akimbo

    akimbo Active Member

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    The third one is one I also have a lot of trouble with. I call them bluebells but I don't know the botanical name-- some variety of Common Harebell? The blooms are smaller than those of Cantebury Bells. They spread by seeds and rhizomes. Invasive and difficult to get rid of (tenacious roots), but be persistent and you can get rid of them. You will learn to recognize the waxy young leaves as they sprout. If it makes you feel any better, they are nothing compared to Spanish Bluebells. Those are the hardest I've ever had to deal will.
     
  11. VMT

    VMT Member

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    Re: Request: Sundrop - pics of Out of control mystery plants

    Hello Sundrop, my soil may not be the best but I do have it aerated every year and leave the grass clippings when it is not too long. I first noticed the supurge Jul/Aug and it grew faster than I could pull it out. You can see from the first pic that I am still at it, but fear since I raked some out that I may have buried seed. Woe is me!
     

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  12. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Definitely not harebell, Campanula rotundifolia, and it doesn't resemble any Campanula that comes to mind.

    Perhaps the OP could describe it in more detail or add more photos, e.g. what do the flowers look like?
     
  13. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Re: Request: Sundrop - pics of Out of control mystery plants

    It doesn't look like the damage is caused by Spotted Spurge. It looks more like caused by drought and/or heat (or salt? may be chemicals?). According to some sources on the Net SS does produce allelopathic substances, but I doubt they could cause grass necrosis.

    High mowing and leaving clippings on the lawn are good habits that help prevent germination of weed seeds. To improve soil quality you could spread your own compost or weed seed free manure on your lawn in the fall. If your soil is acidic spreading lime, also in fall, could improve your soil structure. You can't expect good grass to grow on lifeless, compacted soil. Using chemicals to get rid of weeds can only make the situation worse.

    If I were you I would sow seeds of White Clover on the lawn. Some people consider Clover a weed, many don't share that opinion. Clover is good for the soil and your grass would be very happy to have its company. The flowers would produce some scent for you and food for bees and other beneficials. As for the Spurge, it is a good and healthy exercise to pull undesirable weeds up. I do it on about 1 ½ acre of my property (the rest is left entirely to Mother Nature). Remember to pull them up before they go to seed!

    How do you aerate your soil? As a matter of fact aeration could bring weed seeds to the surface of the soil helping them to sprout. It will not help for long to loosen deprived of organic matter, dead soil.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  14. VMT

    VMT Member

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    Sundrop: Thank you for your advice/recommendations. We did have a very hot and dry summer in Ottawa but there were watering bans in effect and everyone's grass went dormant. I will keep working on the SS as you suggest. Where does one obtain white clover seeds? As for aerating, I hire someone to do this: they use a metal drum (I suppose heavy) with spikes on it which pull out plugs of grass leaving holes in the lawn. What about Scott's "Weed & Feed?" Veronica
     
  15. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Being an organic gardener I don't use any chemicals, be it fertilizers or killers.
    As for the seeds you can buy them in garden or farm supply stores.
    Does not the heavy drum cause even more soil compaction?
     

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