The kinds of weeds with which a gardener has to contend are determined by various factors, such as locality, soil, climate, and cultivation. The number of species that may occur as garden weeds is very large, but comparatively few are so generally found as to need special consideration. The most important of these are as follows : Annual Meadow Grass (Poa annua. Nat. Ord. Graminese). Annual. Occurs in tufts. Leaves bright green, usually somewhat wrinkled in places. Found in all sorts of situations, though the individual plants are often very short lived. Flowers all the year round. Height, 2-6 ins. Means of Control.Constant hoeing, to prevent seeding. On Paths.The weeds should be hoed or cut down, and the paths then dressed with one of the following weed killers : (i) Common salt, applied dry, sufficient to whiten the surface. (2) Washing soda, applied in a solution containing 5 lb. in 10 gals, of water. (3) Bluestone (copper sulphate), 5-10 parts to 100 parts of water. (4) Carbolic acid, i part to 100 parts of water. (s) Sulphuric acid, 4 parts to 100 parts of water. This needs special care in handling, as it is very corrosive and poisonous. It should be mixed in a wooden vessel, and 1168 applied as rapidly as possible with a can, which must be washed out directly after use. (6) Patent weed killers of various descriptions, of which many are advertised. Bent Grass (Agrostis vulgaris and A. alba. Nat. Ord. Graminese). Perennial ; tufted or creeping. In the latter case it roots freely as it spreads. Leaves flat, rather rough on the upper side. Flowers very small, borne on a slender, dainty, branched head called a panicle, which is sometimes spreading, sometimes close, and often tinged with brown. Flowers throughout summer. Height, 2-24 ins. Means of Control.Constant hoeing, hand pulling, and entire removal of plants by digging. Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensts. Nat. Ord. Convolvulaceae).Perennial, with slender, creeping underground stems, climbing by means of twining aerial stems. Leaves stalked, rather heart-shaped. Flowers bell-shaped, white or pink. Fruits containing four large seeds. The twining stems tend to strangle the plants up which they clamber, and to pull them to the ground in many cases. Flowers summer. Means of Control.Underground stems should be dug out and burned, and all green stems be pulled up or hoed out whenever seen. Black Bindweed (Polygonum Convolvulus. Nat. Ord. Polygonaceae). Annual ; climbs by means of twining stems. Leaves heart-shaped. Flowers white or pink, in loose, stalked clusters. Fruits black, triangular. Flowers summer and autumn. Means of Control.Constant hoeing, and hand pulling where necessary. Uses.The seeds are very similar to those of buckwheat, and have been used for the same purposes, including the preparation of flour for human consumption. Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum. Nat. Ord. Solanaceae). Usually annual, sometimes biennial. Stems angular ; much branched. Leaves stalked and angular. Flowers small, white, and in clusters. Fruit a black berry. Flowers summer and autumn. Height, under 2 ft. Means of Control.Constant hoeing. Buttercup.See Creeping Buttercup. Chickweed (Siellaria media. Nat. Ord. Caryophyllaceae).Annual. A much-branched trailing plant with opposite leaves and small white flowers. Forms an abundance of seed, and is often very troublesome in kitchen gardens. Can be recognised by a row of hairs that runs up one side of the stem from leaf to leaf, and then changes its position to the opposite side between the next pair of leaves. Flowers practically all the year round. Means of Control.Constant hoeing. Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara. Nat. Ord. Compositae).Perennial, with stout creeping underground stems. Leaves heart-shaped and radical, the undersides covered with white cottony down ; appear after the flowers. Flower heads pale yellow ; arise on separate stems, with small leaves or scales arranged on the stalks. Fruits with a pappus or tuft of hairs or plumes, which aid in distribution by the wind. Flowers early spring. Means of Control.The underground stems should be removed as much as possible during cultivation, and the flower heads be cut early to prevent seeding. The weed is often associated with poor soil, and judicious manuring may help to eradicate it in such cases. 4 E Common Orache (Airiplex patula. Nat. Ord. Chenopodiacese).Annual, varying much in height and habit. Numerous branches, which come off at right angles to the stem and to one another. Leaves stalked and angled, with broad bases, often covered with a whitish meal. Flowers greenish and insignificant, in slender spikes. This is a most variable plant in every way. The colour may be anything from a very deep green to a light whitish-green, though it is rarely as white as Fat Hen, which it often resembles rather closely. Flowers summer and autumn. Means of Control.Constant hoeing. Common Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus. Nat. Ord. Compositae). Annual. A strong growing, succulent plant, with prickly leaves and a milky juice which exudes whenever any part is broken. Leaves have no stalks and clasp the stem with their broad bases. Flower heads numerous, flat, pale yellow. Fruits with a tuft of hairs or plumes, by which they are scattered by the wind. Flowers summer and early autumn. Height, 1-3 ft. Means of Control.Constant hoeing. If any plants become established they should be dug out, as the roots are stout and run deeply in the ground. Couch Grass (Agropyron repens, or Triticum repens. Nat. Ord. Gramineae). Perennial. One of the most pestilent of grasses. Is easily recognised by the white or brownish creeping underground stems which send out roots and aerial stems from every joint. The growing tip is characteristically sharp and pointed, and is well adapted for piercing its way through the soil or even through any obstacle that comes in its way, provided it be not too hard. Flowers summer. Height, 1-2 ft.
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