Urban Gardening & Ecology
A regular in lawns and along paths, broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a weed you’ll see plenty of now and for the rest of the summer. Even among weeds, it’s incredibly persistent. Mow it, step on it, weed-whack it, and this tough perennial will return, thanks to its low-growing habit and regenerative crown.
Leafing out in silvery-green abundance, mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) appears in vacant lots and at roadsides and park edges around this time of year. This hardy member of the aster family thrives in these disturbed areas and easily withstands attempts to yank it out. Thanks to its extensive system of rhizomes, or
Rued by gardeners the world over, the indomitable dandelion easily reigns as the most famous of all weedy plants. With its bright yellow flowers and puffball seed heads, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is what comes to most people’s minds when you say “weed.” Native to temperate regions of Europe and Asia,
Few wild plants are hardy enough to emerge in April. The ground has only recently thawed and most are waiting for just the right amount of consistent warmth and moisture before coming up. But purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) takes advantage of the open expanses of soil and lack of competition. This common weedy plant
So your new school garden is beautiful. Students nurture and nibble kale, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic. Science classes observe and calculate plant growth. Young poets write odes to flowers. You have albums of gorgeous photos. The principal is 100 percent committed. Then, the dynamo volunteer—parent or teacher—leaves
Pamper your street tree bed with some seasonal TLC. March: Remove any evergreen branches, salt-splattered mulch, and dog waste. Flush the bed’s soil with water, slowly and deeply, using a leaky old trash can filled with water or a hose set to a gentle dribble. Next, apply a two- to three-inch layer of fresh wood chips or