Garden weeds

Asked April 15, 2020, 3:55 PM EDT

I have a few weeds in my garden. Are they beneficial or should be pulled ?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

The plant in your first photo is called hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). It is an annual weed that thrives in the cool spring weather. Eventually the plants die down when the weather gets warm, but they are notorious for their effective seed dispersal prior then! Hairy bittercress tends to show up in bare spots or where lawn is mowed too short. Fortunately, it is very easy to pull out by hand. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/hairy-bittercress
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a good article that goes into further detail about hairy bittercress, https://www.bbg.org/news/weed_of_the_month_hairy_bittercress

The second plant is a terrible invasive weed called garlic mustard. This one is also a prolific spreader and you should pull the plants now, before they disperse seeds. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/garlic-mustard

Our video provides more info about garlic mustard, https://youtu.be/WvJMab8b7PQ

The third plant is sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum). It is an ornamental groundcover plant. It does spread and naturalize, so you will have to keep it from creeping into areas where you don't want it to go. For example, you could use garden edging to keep it contained to a particular area. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c820

Christa