The weeds in my Veggie Patch

sheep sorrel

The common weeds around my vegetable garden in the Huon Valley, Tasmania

I spent more than 15 years working as an Ecologist across Queensland and Tasmania. One of the advantages of this was knowing what weeds I had popping up in my veggie patch. Below is a list of a few of the more common ones I tend to pull out, some of them which are very annoying.

  1. Sheep Sorrel (Acestosella vulgaris) – As the picture above shows, this has been the bane of my life. It spreads via rhizomes but is dioeeious (seperate male and female plants). I have found it very hard to deal with in in-ground garden beds once it got in. I heard that liming the soil helps, but this has not worked for me. My paddock has plenty of it and I believe it may come into a garden bed via sheep manure.  It is edible in small doses (oxalic acid I am told is not great in high dosages), but the long rhizomes make  this hard to remove and not get in the way of the carrots germinating. 
  2. variety of exotic grasses such as winter grass (Poa annua), bent grass (Agrostis capillaris and stolinifera – many call this twitch), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), bulbous oat grass (

    Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum – has tiny looking onions at base – hard to remove). There are numerous others that pop up such as sweet vernal grass, Bromus species, Yorkshire Fog and Rye grass to name a few.

  3. Hairy bittercress – Cardamine hirsuta , seems to pop up regularly. Not hard to remove but always about.
cardamine hirsuta
cardamine hirsuta

       4. chickweed (Stellaria species) – quite common

       5. Fat hen (Chenopodium album) – no doubt most of us see this one.

       6. common centaury plant (Centaurium erythraea)  – easily removed

      7. blackberry (we all know this one, birds drop the seeds and best to remove as soon as you see it).

      8. Fumaria –  seems to come and go but i never let this one seed.

      9. Juncus bufonius -pops up when very damp and can form clumps quickly.

     10. buzzy Acaena novae-zelandiae  – actually a native but does take over if allowed to.

    11. Bellis perennis English daisy) – in my lawn and quite pretty.

    12.  cats ear Hypochaeris radicata – looks like dandelion

    13. spear thistle Cirsium vulgare

    14. burr medic Medicago species and clover Trifolium species 

    15.  pimpernel  Lysimachia arvensis

    16.  Yellow Bartsia  occasionally pops up as it is in my pasture.

    17. plantains – largely P. coronopus and P. lanceolatus

     18. creeping buttercup

There will be plenty I have not listed here but these are the more frequently seen ones that come to mind at the time of writing. The weeds you have will vary based on your location. If you ever want to know what you have, feel free to msg me on my facebook page with a picture

What’s a good way of dealing with weeds. Well I moved my original in ground garden bed to either raised beds or low beds which are just cardboard laid on the freshly mowed grass, 6 inches of compost on top and boxed in with some wood (boxing in isn’t necessaey. Stomp it down and plant straight away. More on this in future or watch some of Charles Dowdings youtube clips for ideas.

Dave

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