You want the outside of your home to look just as beautiful as the inside. Most people are content with a beautiful green front lawn and backyard. Others go one step further and plant a garden or have a variety of potted plants outdoors, as well as indoors. Either way, you want no unwanted substances taking away from the beauty of your lawn or garden. That’s where the problem of weeds comes in… or are they really a problem?
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What exactly are garden weeds?
Garden weeds are basically unwanted plants in your garden. Weeds in general can be any type of plant that you don’t want in a particular place. For example, grass is wonderful on your front lawn, but not in your garden bed. A common garden weed is chickweed, as its growth pattern is almost invasive.
Another example could be the mint plant. Say you want to grow this plant in your garden. It’s desired, but it grows vigorously if not contained properly. So, in a way, this could be considered a weed… but are all weeds bad?
Benefits of Garden Weeds
Flowers and plants are a beautiful and aromatic way to perk up your outdoor space. You carefully plan which plants and flowers you want to plant in your garden or pots. But what happens when you start to see plants you don’t want? Do you try to get rid of them or let them be?
It’s been noted that weeds can take nutrients away from other plants, but they may be able to provide some benefits as well. Some would even say that they appear for a reason.
1. Weeds can help enrich soil.
The dandelion is another well-known weed but is also known as something called a dynamic accumulator. Dynamic accumulators have deep roots that have the ability to pull up nutrients that other plants’ roots aren’t able to. Once dynamic accumulators decompose, the nutrients that they pulled up are put back into the soil where the other plants can access them.
2. Weeds can break up compacted soil.
Soil that is too dense can inhibit the growth of plants. Dandelions and other dynamic accumulators can help break up some of that compacted soil, leading to better plant growth.
3. Weeds can help prevent soil erosion.
No one wants their soil to wash away. Certain grasses like Bermuda grass grow in thick clumps and help to prevent the erosion of soil.
4. You can use weeds to determine soil issues.
Now that you know what the presence of some weeds indicates, you can leave them to do their job, or pull them up and find other remedies for your soil problems. Mulching can help with soil erosion, and adding compost can put some nutrients back into the soil.
Certain weeds can also be indicators of the pH of your soil. Hawkweeds indicates that your soil is acidic, meaning that you’ll see great results growing plants that thrive in acidic soil. The same goes for alkaline soil, where you could possibly see goosefoot.
Though weeds have their benefits, they don’t always fit the overall look of your garden or plant area. Some can be hidden under thick layerings of mulch (remember that helps with soil erosion), or you can simply pull them up out of the ground. By doing this, you can examine the roots, thus helping you indicate what issues may be lying within the soil.
In some areas, like the lawn, you may have to use an actual weed killer. The important thing to remember here is that you want to opt for a glyphosate-free weed killer or some natural alternative. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in many weed killers and has been known to cause cancer in individuals that use them regularly.
Weeds can help with the overall function of your garden or landscape, but it’s understandable that they can be an eyesore and they do take away from other plants you may have in your garden as well… After all, you want your outdoor space to give off the same aesthetic as your indoor space. Always do what works best for your home, and do it in the safest way possible!