Weeds, what are they? I’m going to give some information on what weeds really are and let you decide if they are a nuisance or if they are a benefit. Plus, I will give a list of reasons why we shouldn’t demonize something we know so little about.
Weeds are defined by the Unites States Department of Agriculture, as plants that interfere with human activities. Where do you normally see weeds grow? On bare ground. Weeds are natures way of covering up a wound, like the scabs that form over our wounds. The weeds grow, cover the ground, and then die. Each year they will do this, adding more and more nutrients and soil-inhabiting bacteria to the ground, making the soil richer for other plants.
After so many years, you will get small shrubs and plants growing in that area, as these shrubs grow bigger, the shade that they cast, will kill off the weeds, thus ending the cycle of the weed.
Weeds are pioneers, they cover, protect, and fertilize bare soil, preparing it for others. They are superb nutrient accumulators, pulling up nutrients that are deep in the soil, for plants to use. They can also tell you what is happening with your soil, for example, if your soil is hard-pan, penny-cress, morning-glory, horse nettle, field mustard, and quack grass will grow.
There are some weeds that are edible, here’s a few of them,
So here is my list of why we shouldn’t demonize weeds,
1. Some are edible.
2. They condition, and add nutrients to the soil.
3. Their extensive root system adds humus to topsoil and subsoil.
4. They are good indicators of what type of soil you have.
5. We don’t know enough about them to categorize them a bad.
“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
You obviously want to make sure that they don’t go to seed, and get out of control, but when it’s done properly, you will have less work with more nutrition in your garden.