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Weeds as Warnings

Put these unwelcome guests to work and let them tell you what's wrong with your garden.

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weed found in compact soil is annual bluegrass
Photo 3 of 4Annual bluegrass can be found in compacted soil.

Problem No. 2: Compacted Soil (3 of 4)

Another problem that will keep plants from looking their best is compacted soil — soil that doesn't leave any room for air. Lots of garden plants need room to spread their roots and benefit from a little air in the soil, so your soil could be smothering them. Some cultivated plants don't have strong enough roots to penetrate through compacted soil, but there are some weeds that don't mind growing in a tight squeeze. Here are two common weeds found in compact soil:

  • Annual bluegrass (Poa annua)

  • Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)


The good thing about having weeds growing in compacted soil is that removing them actually helps to amend the problem. Their strong roots break apart the soil for you and pulling them adds air and breaks the soil apart even more.

Cultivate and amend heavy clay soil with compost. If your lawn has weeds, aerate it. An aerator tool will pull out small pieces of the lawn, introducing air into the soil.

Next Photo: Problem No. 3: Not Enough Sun

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