If you’re one of those people who loves having a lush green yard or a great-looking garden, it likely irritates you when you get weeds instead. The fact that weeds grow so darn fast is likely to make it worse, and if you’ve ever wondered why they do this, you’ve come to the right place.
Weeds grow so fast because they are amazing resilient, some have deep tap roots so can reach deep ground water and nutrients and others have adapted well to the climate. Weeds photosynthesize efficiently and can survive on minimal resources.
This article will explore 8 reasons why weeds grow so fast in your yard.
8 Reasons Weeds Grow So Fast in Your Yard
Below are some of the main reasons why weeds grow so fast in your yard.
1. They Are Very Efficient at Photosynthesizing
Weeds photosynthesize extremely efficiently. They make twice as much oxygen and will grow four times faster than other items you might plant, such as vegetables and fruits. This efficiency keeps them growing fast regardless of their surroundings.
2. Their Roots Are Deeper
Weeds take their time growing their roots, which means the roots grow very deep within the soil. Think of them as patient plants – they don’t mind waiting for very deep roots.
Because their roots are so deep, they can reach deep ground water and nutrients that other plants cannot get. This is also the reason why they are sometimes very difficult to pull out of the ground.
3. They Can Survive in Any Environment
Unlike fruits, veggies, and even trees and bushes, weeds will grow in any type of environment. While other plants usually need some tender loving care on a regular basis, you can leave weeds alone and they’ll still grow and thrive.
4. They Do Not Need a Lot of Resources
Many weeds do not need a lot of energy or other resources. You don’t need to do anything with them in order for them to keep growing. Regardless of what you do to them, they are stubborn and require very little, if anything, to survive.
5. They Need Little Sustenance
When you plant things such as fruits and vegetables, they need water, fertilizer, and the right weather conditions to grow. That doesn’t apply to plants. They need very little fertilizer or water to grow, and they can go months without any sustenance at all. Compare this to vegetables and other plants, which need constant water and nutrients just to survive.
6. They Are Tough and Resilient
Weeds are very sturdy and strong, and once you combine that with their other features, it’s easy to understand why they stick around even when you don’t want them to. They are simply very tough and very resilient plants that tend to remain in place regardless of what you do to them.
7. They Are Extremely Adaptive
Basically, weeds can find the nutrients they need regardless of where they are planted. Other plants, for instance, need a certain amount of time in the sun and a certain amount of water to survive, but weeds are different.
They can find the water and nutrients they need regardless of where they are planted because they quickly adapt to their surroundings.
8. They Are Naturally Fast Growers
Regardless of what they need to survive weeds are naturally fast-growing plants. They grow faster and hardier than many other plants, so if you plant another plant next to weeds that are short, the weeds will sprout up quicker than the plants.
3 Ways to Stop Weeds from Growing so Fast
There are non-chemical ways you can stop weeds from growing, including the following:
1. Plastic Tarp
Cover weeds with plastic tarps to stop their growth. Weigh the tarps down with bricks or other heavy items. The tarps prevent light and water from getting into the soil.
Because of that, everything underneath the tarp will die including the weeds. This is a good way to clear an area for a new garden bed. Leave the tarp on the area for 2-4 weeks to kill the weeds.
2. Cultivator or Tillers
These machines stretch and crumble the soil with their vertical action, which disturbs and destroys the top layer of the soil and digs the weeds in. Covering the weeds with soil will kill them leaving room for your new plants.
3. Cardboard, newspaper and mulch
Cover weeds with a layer of thick carboard or at least 7 pieces of newspaper. Cover the whole area with a 3-4 inch layer of straw or bark chip mulch. This will help to weigh the cardboard down and smother the weeds.
After around 4 weeks you can make holes and plant directly in the soil. The cardboard and mulch will smother the weeds and the plants will be able to grow.
Why Do Weeds Grow So Well in a Drought?
When the soil is dry, weed seeds do not break down and are therefore totally viable. Dry soil also causes the nitrogen to mineralize, causing the weeds that have just germinated to utilize those nutrients and grow even faster.
4 Fast Growing Weeds
There are numerous types of weeds that grow quickly in your yard but some of the fastest growing varieties include the list below.
Clover grows low to the ground and forms a mat-like surface. You can recognize it by its leaflets, which are made in sets of three.
2. Spotted Spurge
These have dark-green leaves with a spot of red in the center. It has small white flowers along the stems. They grow low to the ground and are roughly one or two inches tall.
This type of weed is common and grows in clumps. It has thick blades and grows very tall. It looks similar to grass and can lie dormant for months or even years before sprouting up in your lawn.
Dandelions are the most common type of weed and have very thick taproots, making them very difficult to get rid of and destroy. The taproot can be up to 12 inches long, and you’ll have to destroy this before enjoying a dandelion-free yard.
Why Do Weeds Grow Faster Than Grass?
Weeds grow faster than grass because they sprout so much earlier and require less to grow and thrive. In fact, grass grows around two to six inches per month, as compared to weeds, which can grow one to three inches in a single day.
Weeds are difficult to get rid of and grow very fast, in part because they are sturdy, easily adaptable to their environment, and have very few needs when it comes to surviving without water and certain nutrients. Fortunately, there are non-chemical ways to get rid of most of them so try these at home to keep your plants and beneficial insects safe. Happy growing.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.