Did you know that weeds can be useful? You may have the idea that weeds are just big problems. If this is your mindset, you may be using herbicides and mowing your lawn when you really don’t need to. While you probably want to have a garden and lawn that looks nice, it may be time to start thinking a bit differently about weeds.
Weeds are Rehabilitators
Believe it or not, there are some weeds out there that are actually rehabilitators. While some weeds are definitely a big detriment to the other plants, there are some weeds that can help save your landscape. One Australian by the name of Peter Andrews has actually been working to use weeds for the purpose of rehabilitation. This is what he refers to as “natural sequence farming.”
His theory is that weeds grow in certain areas because the soil can’t support other species. So he decided to allow these weeds to grow and even helped them to go. After some time, native species in the area took back over again and the balance was back. Apparently weeds can be helpful in some cases, helping to rehabilitate the soil and help other plants to grow. In fact, in some areas of the world, having a few weeds is actually a good sign.
Climate Change and Weeds
Since the climate is changing, you may be noticing that some of your favorite garden plants aren’t doing as well as they used to. Some types of grass aren’t doing well because they require more water than they are getting. This has caused some types of “weed” grasses to take over as groundcover in many places. Although you may not like weeds, they do well in areas where there is a lot of carbon dioxide, so they can be helpful in some cases.
Weeds that are Useful
Although you probably have your preconceived notions and ideas that weeds just aren’t good for anything, you’ll actually find that there are some weeds that really are useful. Here is a look at some of the weeds that are commonly find that actually can be quite useful to your garden or landscaping endeavors.
* Bracken – This weed is part of the fern family and is very successful. You can use it as mulch, to make fertilizer, and even to make soap and glue.
* Dandelions – This is a well known weed and many people just try to get rid of them. The things is that they are actually useful. You can eat the leaves of the dandelions, wine and teas can be made from them, and the sap can be used to product rubber as well.
* Milkweed – While this is a weed, monarch butterflies love to feed on it. It is also used as an herbal remedy for many different health problems.
* Couch Grass – This weed can be used as an herbal remedy and the roots can be dried out, ground up, and then turned into a type of flour for making bread.
* Clover – Clover is actually a weed that is lush and quite beautiful as a ground cover. Bees really like it and it does well in soil that is compacted.