Gardening – Weeds



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Fighting weeds manually or with tools is often adequate. Bulbs and pieces of root that may break free when trying to eradicate them propagate some species. Perennial- and bulbous plants should be dealt with chemically. You need knowledge on herbicides, how to spray weeds and not damage surrounding plants.

Troublesome perennial weeds

Khaki bur weed Alternanthera pungens
Widespread with glossy, small green leaves and papery- or "paper thorn" flowers. Spreads flatly. Control by hoeing or use (for lawns) a product containing: Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Small Bindeweed Convolvulus arvensis
Twining and smothering. Many, deep stolons and a large root system. Widespread. Control with autumn application of systemic, slow-acting herbicide, such as Garlon-4.
Yellow Nutgrass Cyperus esculentus (Geel-uintjie)
Widespread with yellow flowers. Reproduction is fast through seed and tubers. Control by never allowing seeding and use Bendioxide, Glyphosate or MSMA to eradicate the problem. Ensure protection for neighbouring plants.
Red Nutgrass Cyperus rotundus (Rooi-uintjie)
Widespread with reddish flowers. These plants multiply themselves by sending rhizomes and tubers, forming new plants and repeating the process. Control by using Bendioxide and never allow seeding. Treat the same as for Yellow Nutgrass.
Brayulinea Guilleminea densa
With fleshy root system able to lie dormant, invading lawns and beds. It has yellowish stems and flowers, dark green foliage. Control with a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Cat's Ear Hypochoeris radicata
Flat, hairy foliage, tap root and tall flower stems. Found widespread, a pest in beds and lawns. Control by using a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA, or manually.
Angustifolia Merremia Merremia tridentata Subsp.
Climbing weed with slim, greyish leaves, white flowers and seed capsules. Control by digging the whole plant out with the roots.
Creeping Sorrel Oxalis corniculata
A widespread lawn weed with trifoliate leaves, yellow little flowers and pods bursting open to fling the seeds. Reproduce through stolons or seed. Control with Glyphosate or a herbacide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA. This treatment is used for Red Garden- and Yellow Sorrel too.
Plantain Plantago lanceolata
Widespread weeds in paved areas, lawns and beds. Bright green ribbed foliage and beige flowers. Control by using Glyphosate or herbicides containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA. Treat Rippleseed Plantain the same.
Tropical Richardia Richardia braziliensis
Prostrate with many branches, often found on lawns and beds. Light green leaves, white flowers and tap roots. Control by not letting it seed and using a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.Upright weeds
Burweed Achryanthes aspera
1m tall flower spikes contains many small, bur-like seedpods, this plant is found in summer rainfall regions. The seeds stick to clothing and pets. Control by hoeing or using Glyphosate but protect sensitive neighbouring plants.
Perennial Pigweed Amaranthus deflexus (and related species)
Semi-prostrate, 45cm high and edible, with tap root. Control by hoeing.
Disseldoring Berkheya rigida
Perennials of 1,2m high with silvery and prickly foliage and thistle-like, off-white seeds. Control by digging out established plants or hoeing young plants.
Spanish Blackjack Bidens bipinnata (and species related)
Annuals of 1m high with edible foliage and sturdy tap roots. "Blackjack" seeds stick to animals and clothing. Control by hoeing, or use Glyphosate in protected areas
Goose Daisy Cenia turbinata
Annuals with daisy-like, yellow- to white flowers. Control on lawns with herbicides containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA. Hoeing is effective for beds.
Wild Goosefoot Chenopodium album
A widespread annual of 1m, or higher. Control by hoeing or manual weeding.
Thorn Apple, Groot Stinkblaar Datura ferox Large (and related species)
1m tall annual with poisonous plant parts. Fleshy stems, large leaves, white flowers and spiky seedpods. Control by manual weeding and hoeing.
Painted Euphorbia Euphorbia geniculata (and related species)
A herbaceous annual of about 0,5m high. Leaves are red and green. Control by hoeing, using Glyphosate where safe or herbicides of Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Wild Lettuce Lactuca serriola
Perennials with small, yellow flowers and prickly, grey leaves. Control by hoeing.
Apple of Peru Nicandra physalodes
Annual weed of 1 - 1,5m high with blue flowers and papery pods. Control by uprooting or hoeing.
Bristly Oxtongue Picris echoides
These 1,5m annuals have tough foliage and yellow flowers. Control by hoeing.
Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum
Widespread annual or biennial with white, yellow or lilac flowers and a strong tap root. Control by spraying with a herbicide of Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA (where safe).
Wild Mustard Rapistrum rugosum
Widespread annuals with small yellow flowering. Control by hoeing or (where safe)or use herbicides containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA
Thorn Apple, Gifappel Solanum incanum (and related species)
Widespread perennials with yellow fruit, large hairy foliage and blue flowers. Control by digging out.
Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica (and related species)
Annual with hairy leaves that are toxic to human skin. Male- and female flowers are on separate plants. Control by hoeing.Weeds prostrate or with leaf rosettes
Aizoon Aizoon glinoides
Prostrate succulents with fleshy foliage. Control by hoeing.
Pimpernel and Scarlet Pimpernel Anagallis arbensis
Poisonous, prostrate annuals. Leaves are light green, flowers blue or red. Control manually or hoeing.
Gousblom, Cape Marigold Arctotheca calendula
Prostrate annuals with daisy-like, large flowers of cream, hairy leaves and taproot. Control by hoeing.
Scotch Thistle Cirsium vulgare
Rosette-shaped biennials with thorny foliage and tall mauve flower spikes. Control by using Glyphosate, away from sensitive plants.
Carrot weed Coronopus didymus
This rosette-shaped annual has carrot-like foliage. Control by hoeing or manually.
Devil's thorn, Dubbeltjie, Spiny Emex Emex australis
Prostrate annual with light green, broad leaves and woody thorns. Control by hoeing or (where safe) or spraying with an herbicide of Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Hairy Creeping Milkweed Euphorbia chamaesyce (and relating species)
Prostrate annual with hairy leaves. Pests in paving, lawns and beds. Control by using a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Fumitory Fumaria muralis
Prostrate annuals scrambling with tiny pink flowers, greyish foliage and fleshy stems. Control by hoeing.
Bachelor's Button Gomphrena celosioides
Prostrate perennial weed with tiny, white papery flowers and small leaves. Control with a herbicide of Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA or hoeing.
Bladderweed Hibiscus trionium
Prostrate weeds with taproot, yellow flowers and rough foliage. Control by hoeing.
Bur Clover Medicago hispida
Prostrate annual with trifoliate foliage and seed pods, sticks to clothing and fur. Control manually or using a herbicide of Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.
Chickweed Stellaria media
Prostrate annual with fleshy stems, tiny white flowers and soft foliage. Control by hoeing or, where possible, spraying with Glyphosate.
Devil's Thorn, Dubbeltjie Tribulus terrestris
Prostrate annual with many branches, tap root and woody thorns. Control by hoeing or using a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA.

Grass-like weeds

Barnyard grass Echinochloa crus-galli
Widespread annual preferring waterlogged areas. Control by hoeing.
Veld grass Ehrharta calycina
An annual with red flowers. Control by hoeing.
Onion weed Nothoscordum inodorum
Bulbous perennial weed with black seeds. Control by using Glyphosate at double strength. Apply directly to the leaves by means of a sponge. Be very careful while doing this.
Dallas grass Paspalum dilatatum
Coarse perennial grass pest in lawns. Control manually as they appear.
Wintergrass Poa annua
A widespread grass, often on shady patches of the lawn. Control manually.
White tussock Stipa tenuissima
Perennials with long blades and slender panicles of flowers. Control manually.

Chemical herbicides should only be used as a last resort. Always remember that herbicides are dangerous, they should be kept in a safe place and treated with respect. It is usually only used on infested paving areas or lawns and plants that do not react to non-chemical treatment. Paved areas make manual removal of weeds difficult. Control by spraying with Glyphosate during the growing period and water the area thoroughly two days prior. Lawns are safely sprayed with a herbicide containing Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA. Spray during the growing period of the weeds, at the hottest part of the day and when there is no risk of raining. Water the lawn two days prior. Cut tolerant and noxious weeds to stumps and immediately paint the cut ends with Garlon-4. Take care not to let run-off occur for your other shrubs/trees may be in danger of absorbing it, which would be fatal. Avoid spraying on windy days.

Products, their contained chemicals and description with purpose:

Turfweeder (Dicamba, 2-4D and MCPA). Controls broad leaf annuals and perennials, especially on lawns. Liquid concentrate.
Hormoban (Dicamba and MCPA). Controls lawns with broad leaf annuals. Soluble concentrate.
Ridder, Roundup (Gliphosate). Controls grasses, broad leaf weeds and other weeds. Soluble concentrate.
Basagran (Bendioxide). Controls nutgrass and broad leaf annual weeds. Soluble concentrate.
Weedox, Weedazol and Bayer Amitrol (Amitrole). Controls broad leaf weeds of annual and perennial and grasses. Dissolvable powder.
Eptan (EPTC). Controlling nut grass and annual grass weeds. Emulsifiable concentrate.
Bandit (Dicamba and 2,4,5-T). Control trees, shrubs and weeds of woody and semi-woody stemmed types. Emulsifiable concentrate.
Dacthal W: 75 (Chlorthal-dimethyl). Exterminate the seeds of grasses and weeds. Dissolvable powder.

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