9 Most Common Weeds and How To Get Rid of Them

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

This invasive weed can spread rapidly from both seeds and underground roots, making it challenging to eradicate. Digging early in the season and shading out the roots with dense crops like alfalfa or winter wheat are effective strategies.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Recognizable by its bright yellow flowers, dandelions can be controlled by removing the entire taproot, especially in spring when the soil is moist. Planting thickly and overseeding patchy lawns can also discourage dandelion growth.

Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

Often mistaken for goldenrod, ragweed is a major allergen in late summer. Small patches can be controlled by pulling or hoeing, while larger areas may require repeated mowing or cutting.

Large or Hairy Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)

This common lawn weed spreads quickly from seeds and requires several growing seasons to control. Preemergent herbicides can be effective if applied at the right time, and hand-pulling is recommended for smaller infestations.

Field Bindweed/Perennial Morning Glory (Convolvulus arvensis)

Known for its fast-spreading roots and abundant seeds, field bindweed can be difficult to eradicate. Digging up the roots and disposing of them properly is crucial, and repeated mowing or cutting can help weaken the plants over time.

Foxtail (Setaria spp.)

Found in lawns and disturbed patches of ground, foxtail grasses produce seeds that can easily spread. Hand-pulling is effective for small infestations, while improving turf density and setting the mower higher can help prevent future growth.

Lambsquarters/Pigweed (Chenopodium album)

Recognizable by its silver leaves, lambsquarters is a prolific seed producer that can remain viable in the soil for decades. Hand-pulling is recommended for small infestations, while repeated mowing can help control larger patches.

Plantain (Plantago major)

Introduced by settlers, plantain is known for its nutritious leaves and ability to thrive in disturbed soil. Digging mature plants before they flower is effective, and shading them out with other plants or thick mulch can prevent regrowth.

Quack Grass/Couch Grass/Creeping Wild Rye (Elymus repens)

This cool-season grass spreads rapidly through underground rhizomes and can inhibit the growth of other plants. Digging out the rhizomes and preventing regrowth with persistent digging or shading are key strategies for control.