There are a lot of “weeds” growing everywhere. I put the term weeds in quotation, because they are often poorly understood and worse, poorly regulated by some government agencies. Some agencies like to tell people that they have “weeds” in their yard and if they don’t remove them, they will be fined. This is patently ridiculous. Weeds are nothing more than various plants that grow in our area and most of them are completely harmless. Some people may not like the looks of them, but so what. They can look in another direction. Most responsible homeowners will remove any unwanted plants from their property and that is the way it should be. It is not a government responsibility to require people to do this. First, many of the government employees who do the regulating, can’t tell one “weed” from another. If it isn’t a flowering plant, it must be a weed. Several years ago when I lived in Rio Rancho, one of the city employees came by and told me to remove all the weeds from my yard or I will get a ticket. I asked him to come in the yard and tell me which plants were weeds and how they were dangerous. He could not identify a single weed. I asked him how loud a judge would laugh when we went to court over a ticket I got from the city for having plants they couldn’t recognize in my yard. I was never bothered again. There is no problem with regulating exotic or other plants that normally don’t grow where we live as they could be hazardous to the environment or possible health hazards with high pollen activity. However, all the plants that grow naturally here should be permitted if a homeowner wants them. If the city or some other government agency is upset about the plants (weeds), they should take it up with God or Mother Nature, as they planted them. Besides that, many people can’t manually remove weeds and have to use toxic herbicides. Can the government require people to use toxic herbicides because some city worker can’t identify a plant and it must be a weed?
On a more serious note, some government agencies like to spray weeds on city/county/state property because they are unsightly. Recently one agency in the northwest sprayed all the weeds along a road because they said they were a fire hazard. In doing so, the herbicide they used leached into the soil and killed about a thousand pine trees. Now they have a real fire hazard. I have seen government agencies spraying sidewalks and other areas where there are no weeds. They say they are trying to prevent weeds. Most weeds don’t grow through concrete sidewalks. I saw a truck spraying dead weeds one time and asked them why they were spraying them. They said they wanted to make sure the weeds didn’t come back. So, weeds are capable of resurrection? All of this wouldn’t be so bad if they were using safe products, but they almost always use Roundup, Ranger Pro and other toxic herbicides. I told one fellow that the Roundup he was spraying can cause cancer according to a court filing in California. He said we weren’t in California. We really need to educate government agencies in the hazards of herbicides and other pesticides so they can put public safety first. They also should be trained on the identification of different weeds and how they are hazardous.
We have puncturevine (goatheads) in our yard and I spray them with a vinegar and dish soap mixture and it works very well. There are safe and effective methods of dealing with plants you don’t want just as there are in dealing with unwelcome bugs.