Weeds, UGH! There’s nothing like a patch of weeds where they don’t belong to ruin your gardening day. Weeds compete with those vegetables and flowers, shrubs and trees you’ve planted. They steal nutrients, moisture, space and even worse—sunshine as the most aggressive crowd out everything in their path.

They may look pretty, but like all weeds they will take over if given half a chance. Learn to recognize the weeds that plague your garden and evict them.

If you’ve ever had that moment of uncertainty when spying a flush of tiny plants that you didn’t remember planting, it’s because you didn’t. They are weeds! Whenever you establish a garden you’ve provided just what those interloping weeds are seeking—shelter and food. They’ll move in like the worst of your in-laws, never leave and eat you out of house and home in the process. Learn to recognize them on sight, even as they are innocent-looking youngsters and evict them. Let them grow into adolescents or adult weeds and your problem only multiplies as they set seeds and spread like wildfire.

But wait, don’t grab the herbicide. You have options when it comes to removing weeds without a whiff of chemicals. For all the details, visit my “Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors” online garden column at: http://www.maineboats.com/online/home-features/lynette-weeds