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Weed Identification Guide

Weeds are public enemy number one to most gardeners. Fighting persistent weeds without the use of chemical pesticides can be quite a challenge. One of the first steps is to know your weed. A great resource guide is produced by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The Weed Identification Field Guide (listed about half way down the page under New Releases) has amazing pictures of various types of weeds at all stage. It helped me name some Field Horsetail weed that I have but could not identify. I like the guide because it provides information about the life cycle of the weed and identifies what all parts, including the leaves, stems and seedhead, look like. This helps when you manage your garden without pesticides. Now that I know that the weed I have is horsetail and that it reproduces by spores, rhizomes and tubers I know that I will have to take a more vigorous approach to digging up and getting rid of this weed. Also knowing it grows in poorly drained areas helps. The guide has a lot of information at the beginning about herbicides, after all it is a farmer’s guide and unfortunately large farms are still heavy users of pesticides. While I don’t refer to these sections, the remainder of the guide is useful even to an organic gardener.

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