When people think of weeds automatically conjure up negative thoughts. To them a weed is a burden, and a nuisance that grows in gardens, pathways and any other location where they are not wanted. Weeds tend to be very hardy and time consuming to get rid of.
The very idea of weeding will stop many people from having a garden. They will seek out the so-called fast way of using chemical sprays to get rid of weeds. Chemical sprays may be fast but they are not friendly to the environment and are costly.
There are other easier ways to control weeds and even prevent them from getting out of hand in garden areas. This includes preparing soil and garden beds properly to remove weeds and weed seeds. You can also apply a mulch covering to the garden area which will discourage weed growth and help hold in moisture.
Another thing most people don’t think about is that all weeds are not bad! Some weeds act as natural repellents towards animals and insect.
Other so-called weeds are actually edible. They grow in your back yard or nearby fields. Most of these plants are actually herbs but again are known as weeds to most people.
Looking for these edible weeds and plants can be an enjoyable event and very stress relaxing. But before you decide to look and collect any unfamiliar plants be sure to consult a reliable reference. I am lucky enough to live near my conservation and Home Economics and Extension Office and ask them many questions. The internet will also have information on edible plants. I also recommend Peterson Field Guides’ Edible Wild Plants (Houghton Mifflin Co.).
Always remember the golden rule of foraging for wild edibles: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Hunting and using Edible Weeds has become increasingly popular in the last few years. They are used for eating, drying for seasonings and teas and for crafting. I myself use many weeds for paper making and dyeing.
Three of my favorite “weeds” are the Dandelion, Plantain and Jewelweed. As for weeds in general there are only two bad weeds: one that is where I don’t want it and the other, the invasive weeds. Those are often the weeds that were brought over from another country and have no natural predators or controls. Most other “weeds” just need to be relocated.
Please don’t get me wrong; I do weed my gardens!