In Defense of Weeds

Posted on Aug 5, 2015


Some kind words on weeds. Now before you groan and roll your eyes, read on for just a moment. . .

It’s important to know that weeds do not drive out plants or turf, they merely come in and fill the gap where there are bare patches. So, don’t get hysterical and spray willy-nilly with toxic chemicals. There are living things in the soil and I know you care about them because you are reading this page.

Weeds can be an indication of poor soil, which means weeds are a symptom of our problems and not causes of our problems. Sometimes if you change your soil, you’ll fix a bad weed problem.

But, why not let weeds grow? Weeds are valuable because they include a variety of plants for pollinators and a range of ground conditions suited for native bees. Weeds such as lambsquarters and plantain grown amongst our veggies help bring nutrients and water to their roots. Other weeds such as purslane and chickweed provide a living mulch for taller crop plants. As a bonus many of these weeds are edible!

Also, weeds can be companion plants. They help attract beneficial insects to our garden and reduce destructive ones.

The ecological value of such greenery has been highlighted by many ecologists who argue that our categorisation is grounded in value judgments.

Enjoy your weeds; eat the edibles… most can be eaten raw, some must be cooked and some have only parts that are edible. So, it’s important to identify each plant before eating, otherwise that pretty plant might just be hemlock. Yikes!