Dandelions may be little more than a benign nuisance, but invasive weed seedlings sprout into plants that spread into patches that can swallow the lawn, neighborhood, and ecosystem. Kudzu, a rapid-growing nonnative vine that has engulfed the South, is such a menace that a patch recently discovered in a Kansas City backyard made front-page news. Thistles, which love disturbed ground, wreak havoc on farmers and national parks alike, crowding out crops and native species.
Develop a knowledge of the invasive plants in your area and an appreciation for native species. Consult your local extension office, master gardeners, department of conservation or wildlife, or even contact the neighborhood greenhouse.