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Weeds are perfect - lets reconsider

 
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I have heard a lot of responses to folks who ask about weeds, with what I would call "weed shaming".  By this I mean effectively challenging folks that its only by their own faulty understanding that any plant should be called a weed, and that clearly since the plant is growing there, it is the perfect plant and exactly what is needed to grow there.

My main observation, is that many plants will grow like "weeds" in a given area, the idea that all possible seeds, or even the best possible seeds for a given area are already in the seed bank is faulty.

In my area, I have any number of plants growing that are not at all nice to look at.  They dont make me happy.  What does make me happy are any number of wildflowers and herbs, be they poppies, lupines, borage, chives, artichokes, cardoons, and many others that after broadcasting once have naturalized and come back every year.

Clearly what was missing for them to spread and live wildly and happily was their seed in the seed bank.  Now that they are present, they are apparently just as perfect for the area, with what I consider to be more benefit.

So yes, lets not be so anti weed, but lets leave some room for understanding their presence doesnt make them perfect.   They are mostly just present.
 
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Identity -  by Julio Noboa Polanco
Let them be as flowers,​
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,
clinging on cliffs, like an eagle​
wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.

To have broken through the surface of stone,
to live, to feel exposed to the madness
of the vast, eternal sky.
To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,​
carrying my soul, my seed,
beyond the mountains of time or into the abyss of the bizarre.

I'd rather be unseen, and if
then shunned by everyone,
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,​
growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
where they're praised, handled, and plucked
by greedy, human hands.

I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
than of sweet, fragrant lilac.​
If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed
 
master steward
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Most plants have some things to offer the world.  What I consider the weed I dislike most has edible seed pods and is a great ground cover.

Many people are rethinking the usefulness of what many call weeds.  Look at the lowly dandelion, for example.  
 
Michael Jameson
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That poem is a good example.  Its a faulty understanding that one must either fussed over and fragile, or alternatively hardy and ugly yet free.

You can have hardy and free and useful and beautiful.  Thats seems like a better goal, to me, and one more likely to gain traction.
 
Michael Jameson
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Anne Miller wrote:Most plants have some things to offer the world.  What I consider the weed I dislike most has edible seed pods and is a great ground cover.

Many people are rethinking the usefulness of what many call weeds.  Look at the lowly dandelion, for example.  



For certain.  Im not arguing not useful, Im arguing they need to be judged in their entire context of usefulness, against all other natives.  Unless you are incredibly lucky, you may well find many of your resident weeds come up lacking.  And that is ok.  That is entirely, 1000%, ok.  Expected even.  
 
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I have heard a lot of responses to folks who ask about weeds, with what I would call "weed shaming"...............................So yes, lets not be so anti weed, but lets leave some room for understanding their presence doesn't make them perfect.   They are mostly just present.



I don't think there is any 'weed shaming' here at permies.  Folks here are quite into diversity and that includes much of what many others might consider weeds.  

At the moment, I have an affinity for any plant that is not bermuda grass
 
gardener
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I'm reading "weed shaming" as shaming anyone who identifies something as weed that they want rid of.

I've probably done it,  as I hate grass and I don't grok people who try to eliminate lawn "weeds" in favor of grass.
Ask how to be rid of dandelion and I will probably  ask why you would want to.
Fair question,  but not a very helpful answer,  and some people will be more...vehement with their questions.

I personally consider poke and honeysuckle as weeds to be eliminated from my yard.
If I came on permies looking for help eliminating poke from my yard,  I wouldn't be surprised if someone took me to  task for not appreciating it as an edible, nectar producer that accumulated minerals.
Its still an plant I don't want around,  despite these good qualities.
Other plants have similar positive qualities without the headaches.
 
gardener
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The way I see it, bare dirt is the enemy.  I live in Oklahoma.  Bare dirt washes or blows away, and the green sandstone isn't very far down.  

I also have very limited equipment, energy, and time.  At any given moment, there's not very much area of ground that I have the oomph to be dealing with.  

So when I look at a spot of ground and the stuff that's growing on it, the questions that go through my mind are:

1) Can I eat it?

2) Can wildlife eat it, nest in it, hide in it?

3) Is it putting nitrogen in the soil, or mulch on top?

4) Is it in the way of something else that I want to plant here?

5) Am I really going to get around to planting something here this season?

6) When I do plant something here, now or soon, is this thing going to fight me?

The only time something gets promoted to "weed" in my mind is if it is in my way or threatening to fight me.  That turns out to be extremely rare on my property.  There are two patches of Johnson Grass.  There's an expanding forest of paper mulberry that's fixing to fight me when I get to the chicken phase of development, although it's going to be instrumental in constructing the run fence, too, and shading it also.  And there's some sort of nasty low grass that spreads by stolons and climbs into all my garden pots.  That's about it!
 
pollinator
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A weed is something that takes over and kills whatever I want to grow, so chickweed while not something I have planted is not really considered a weed here, whereas groundelder, nettles, couch grass and creeping thistle are. They are all edible but eventually you end up with only one of them growing in a dense stand with nothing else.
 
gardener
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The experience I've had in my ecosystem is that if you don't like a plant growing where it is, you'd better find something that can out-compete it, or removing it is may simply result either in it coming back, or something worse moving in.

For example I know that Canada Thistle does have some uses, and that it's confirmation that the land was badly compacted and abused by a former owner, but it's prickly and kept stabbing me in the back of the legs when I was working in an area yesterday where I *know* I've removed the thistle from before. Clearly, I need better ideas for out-competing it. (Sheet-mulch doesn't do much either, although it can build deeper, looser soil, which at least makes it easier to get the thistle out. Other suggestions welcome.)

It is also too easy to get into the "native/non-native" argument when discussing weeds. Forget-me-not and even daffodils can get accused of being "invasive non-natives" by some locals (although I save that accusation for Morning Glory, which takes over at the drop of a hat.) These plants may out compete native equivalents, but with weather weirding happening, there are changes (like cedars dying) that no amount of effort or aggressive removal is going to stop. Given time, Mother Nature has proven planet-wide, that the ecosystem will adapt to the newcomer given enough time, particularly if the newcomer is responding to a specific surplus (like nitrogen fertilizer in the soil or too much CO2 in the atmosphere).

Humans seem capable of calling anything a "weed" if they A) don't think it was there naturally and B) if they happen to dislike it being there, and here on permies I've found that most members are far more willing to just call them "plants"! If the OP has "plants" he prefers in his location, I think that's awesome. And if those plants fill useful niches with the local non-humans, I think that's even better.
PS - I wish I could grow lupines here, but every time I've tried they haven't taken. Clearly I don't have their chosen conditions right enough.
 
pollinator
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My friend is telling me all the time things are edible, which i do appreciate, but what am i going to do with thousands of plants that are outrageously abundant, while i am trying to grow the few extremely rare plants that we humans like. I do appreciate weeds strength and resilience and value them highly as mulch, but grass, yarrow and creeping buttercups are out, they are too strong. My veg needs help against them. I like weeds that fix nitrogen like clover and vetch instead, i'll plant them in my beds to coexcist with my veggies. But infinitely better a lot of natures strongest than bare earth.
 
Stephanie Meyer
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I think my issue with “ weeds” is that it is entirely a matter of perception and dependent on circumstances. It is kind of like how the soil in my planter becomes “ dirt” once it is strewn all over my floor. Changing my perception of what constitutes a weed has helped me a great deal as I’ve learned to garden. the “weeds” I hate are still perfect in their way, even the burdock I’ve been cussing lately, because they give me a clear signal about what I’m doing wrong or need to change. Re-examining why I call plants weeds has made gardening much more productive for me overall.  
 
pollinator
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Stephanie Meyer wrote:Identity -  by Julio Noboa Polanco
Let them be as flowers,​
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed



This. A thousand times. This. Thank you. First time ive seen this poem, but I love it.
 
master pollinator
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The weeds in my garden are perfect because I can pull or cut them to use as mulch or to make compost.  I love them.  This is the first year I've had significant weeds and it's wonderful!



 
gardener
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I don't mind weeds and I tend to let them be (with a few very specific exceptions). But my view is that weeds are not the "perfect" plant. Nature works with what it has available but nature does not always have a complete toolbox to work with. I'm going to have fun with this analogy

There are many native plants who's populations have been eliminated from an area due to past human activities to the point that even the seeds are not present. These could be seen as lost tools.

There are also non-native plants that are not available. These could be seen as new tools that nature could try new things with.

The weeds are often the common plants that were introduced by humans. Though there are also plenty of native plants that people consider to be weeds. Weeds are the most available "tool" for nature to use to increase the abundance of a site.

But if I bring in other plants that I have identified through study and observation (perhaps observing other sites with similar conditions but different plant communities) then I can provide nature with new tools for the toolbox that might result in more abundance.

If these new tools are a better fit for the job then they will thrive at the site and spread.

To me nature is like an master builder who has lost most of the tools in the toolbox. As a master builder nature can do amazing things with what is left. But by bringing in new plants I can provide nature with a much better toolbox resulting in even more amazing things being built.

So I don't mind the weeds but I also don't think they are perfect. I think they represent nature doing the best work possible with that is available.

I see my roll in all of this as an assistant (or funder?) who can bring in new tools for nature to use. Sometimes these tools get thrown out but often they get used and result in more abundance than would have otherwise been there. Though often that abundance is created in a way that is different than what I expected. I provide the tools but nature wields them.

When I do remove "weeds" it is because sometimes the site just needs a bit of disturbance to provide space for true abundance to take shape. Disturbance in nature is not a negative if it does not repeat too often and is not too intense.

I also chop-and-drop and even remove plants that I planted once they filled their role in creating abundance. An example is shifting a site from being dominated by support species to being dominated by food producing species as a site matures.

Going back to the toolbox analogy sometimes while nature has done its best to create a masterpiece the available tools may have just been lacking. By creating some disturbance (removing some of the "weeds") and also providing nature with a larger toolbox I can help nature rebuild and create something even more amazing than before.

For me it comes down to avoiding treating this issue as black and white. I don't like it when people want to remove all weeds for no real reason other than the plant is a "weed". But I also think you can go too far the other way and never remove/replace a weed even when doing so could result in more abundance.

I like looking at each situation and figuring out what path will lead to the most abundance and act accordingly.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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All About Weeds  
 
Michael Jameson
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Daron Williams wrote:I don't mind weeds and I tend to let them be (with a few very specific exceptions). But my view is that weeds are not the "perfect" plant. Nature works with what it has available but nature does not always have a complete toolbox to work with. I'm going to have fun with this analogy

There are many native plants who's populations have been eliminated from an area due to past human activities to the point that even the seeds are not present. These could be seen as lost tools.

There are also non-native plants that are not available. These could be seen as new tools that nature could try new things with.

The weeds are often the common plants that were introduced by humans. Though there are also plenty of native plants that people consider to be weeds. Weeds are the most available "tool" for nature to use to increase the abundance of a site.

But if I bring in other plants that I have identified through study and observation (perhaps observing other sites with similar conditions but different plant communities) then I can provide nature with new tools for the toolbox that might result in more abundance.

If these new tools are a better fit for the job then they will thrive at the site and spread.

To me nature is like an master builder who has lost most of the tools in the toolbox. As a master builder nature can do amazing things with what is left. But by bringing in new plants I can provide nature with a much better toolbox resulting in even more amazing things being built.

So I don't mind the weeds but I also don't think they are perfect. I think they represent nature doing the best work possible with that is available.

I see my roll in all of this as an assistant (or funder?) who can bring in new tools for nature to use. Sometimes these tools get thrown out but often they get used and result in more abundance than would have otherwise been there. Though often that abundance is created in a way that is different than what I expected. I provide the tools but nature wields them.

When I do remove "weeds" it is because sometimes the site just needs a bit of disturbance to provide space for true abundance to take shape. Disturbance in nature is not a negative if it does not repeat too often and is not too intense.

I also chop-and-drop and even remove plants that I planted once they filled their role in creating abundance. An example is shifting a site from being dominated by support species to being dominated by food producing species as a site matures.

Going back to the toolbox analogy sometimes while nature has done its best to create a masterpiece the available tools may have just been lacking. By creating some disturbance (removing some of the "weeds") and also providing nature with a larger toolbox I can help nature rebuild and create something even more amazing than before.

For me it comes down to avoiding treating this issue as black and white. I don't like it when people want to remove all weeds for no real reason other than the plant is a "weed". But I also think you can go too far the other way and never remove/replace a weed even when doing so could result in more abundance.

I like looking at each situation and figuring out what path will lead to the most abundance and act accordingly.



Exactly my thoughts, very well said and I think this analogy is a useful framework for organizing ones thoughts.  Thanks!
 
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I dont dislike any plant or animal. That being said - when it comes to rats or foxtails, Im not afraid to declare war; and give my 'enemy' no peace. Kingdoms require armies - garden require walls. Big beautiful walls!
 
William Bronson
gardener
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I had to look up foxtails-what a horror show!
I think I prefer rats,  they compost well,  something I would be afraid to do with foxtail!
 
Dan Boone
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Hugo Morvan wrote:My friend is telling me all the time things are edible, which i do appreciate, but what am i going to do with thousands of plants that are outrageously abundant, while i am trying to grow the few extremely rare plants that we humans like.



Indeed.  So many online resources report that a plant is "edible" but what I need with respect to wild plants is information about what is sweet and succulent and tender and tasty.  These turn out to be rare features indeed in "volunteer" plants.  But sometimes it's all in the knowing what the plant is good for, how to harvest or prepare or cook it.  I do have a few wild "weeds" on my property that are better eats that anything I can plant -- "mouse melons" (bite sized wild cucumbers that look like tiny watermelons) and passion fruit (passiflora incarnata) being the two that leap most immediately to mind.  Both have popped up in my garden beds like weeds.
 
pollinator
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Dan Boone wrote:

Hugo Morvan wrote:My friend is telling me all the time things are edible, which i do appreciate, but what am i going to do with thousands of plants that are outrageously abundant, while i am trying to grow the few extremely rare plants that we humans like.



Indeed.  So many online resources report that a plant is "edible" but what I need with respect to wild plants is information about what is sweet and succulent and tender and tasty.  



There are a lot of videos and sites that do cover what edibles taste like and whether you would actually want to eat them regularly or use them as survival food.
 
gardener
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Most excellent post Daron.  Great analogies.

It has been my experience through experimentation that if I suggest a plant to the earth mother and she disagrees with my suggestion, that plant or those plants die.
If I am almost right, she lets them live but they will struggle all through their life.
If I get it right, my add in plants thrive and the microbiome increases in diversity as well.  

I have several note books from each trial since I feel like each experiment should have ample time to present me with my findings. Most of these have many pages with a big red Fail! across them.
However I then add observations of why I think that one failed and if it was simply plant selection or if it may have been circumstances beyond the scope of the trial.
Normally I try to collect the unripe seed pods of all my trial plants just to keep them from spreading wildly, I want to do these trials in a controlled manner as much as possible.

Again, thanks for such a well thought out and presented post.

Redhawk
 
Daron Williams
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Michael Jameson wrote:
Exactly my thoughts, very well said and I think this analogy is a useful framework for organizing ones thoughts.  Thanks!



Thank you!

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Most excellent post Daron.  Great analogies.

It has been my experience through experimentation that if I suggest a plant to the earth mother and she disagrees with my suggestion, that plant or those plants die.
If I am almost right, she lets them live but they will struggle all through their life.
If I get it right, my add in plants thrive and the microbiome increases in diversity as well.  

I have several note books from each trial since I feel like each experiment should have ample time to present me with my findings. Most of these have many pages with a big red Fail! across them.
However I then add observations of why I think that one failed and if it was simply plant selection or if it may have been circumstances beyond the scope of the trial.
Normally I try to collect the unripe seed pods of all my trial plants just to keep them from spreading wildly, I want to do these trials in a controlled manner as much as possible.

Again, thanks for such a well thought out and presented post.

Redhawk



Thank you Dr. Redhawk! I really like your approach and I wish I had the discipline to keep note books about all the work I'm doing at my place. I keep wanting to but so far I'm just bad at doing it...

I have made similar observations at my place. I have been amazed at how fast some parts of my place have taken off after I planted. In other spots it has been slower and I have had to make adjustments. I feel that through making these observations I'm slowly making lists of plants that grow great at my place and those that don't. Though as the microbiome changes and my soils improve I expect new plants to start doing well that currently would not.

Thanks again!
 
Jay Angler
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Help please! I believe I read somewhere that if you take several buckets of "typical garden weeds" and compost them, the nitrogen/carbon ratio for composting will be about right, but I would have thought it would be high on the nitrogen side. I have a friend who I think needs to add a lot more carbon to his soil (indirectly such as piling leaves on top for the winter and letting the worms play underneath for example), but I'm not sure if weed compost would do the job. I do know that many of the weeds I was looking at yesterday have tap roots rather than the mesh-type roots G. Lawton mentions above in his video. I do know that one year he planted a cover crop of some sort of clover, but that would increase the nitrogen without adding as much carbon from what I understand.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Jay,

My personal preference is to make as balanced a compost as possible at that moment, that means I will have fairly equal amounts of carbon source (brown materials) and Nitrogen sources (green materials) then I layer those with manures for a three layer approach.
My goal is to have a good compost with a highly active set of microorganisms.

If you compost only green materials such as weeds, you might find a slimy mess as the weeds begin to break down, that slimy goo stuff will contain a lot of the nitrogen that didn't gas off to the atmosphere but it will be less than if you built a browns and greens compost heap capped with soil.

Clovers do increase the N level when they are chopped down since the nodules will then decompose as the bacteria move away in search of a new host plant that is living.
If your friend's land needs more carbon, I would not worry about adding nitrogen but would instead look for wood chips and small twigs, leaf materials and other items high in carbon to apply to the soil as a mulch layer. (just as you described).

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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If we learn to utilize something, including weeds, we tend to find that we don’t have too much of it after all:

Too much yarrow?(!) First, it’s a dynamic accumulator up there with comfrey. It attracts beneficial insects, especially predatory and pest parasitizing wasps and flies (ones not dangerous to humans). It makes a great cold and ache remedy in tea. It’s a great compost and compost tea activator due to its chelating powers. It also holds sandy soils together with its fibrous roots.

Jay, it seems you have compacted acidic clay soil rather than sandy erosive soil from your weed description. Around here that would be shown by dandelions, plantain, and dock, which all draw calcium and other easily leached minerals from the subsoil (upwards of 12ft down at times). This helps balance the surface pH and mineralizes the
topsoil.

In response to the C:N ratio question, it seems like a very small amount of high carbon material would balance out even the Nitrogen fixators:
8CCA93BB-FA34-4FCF-9818-6E0E2956D8E8.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 8CCA93BB-FA34-4FCF-9818-6E0E2956D8E8.jpeg]
Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (1992)
 
Gail Gardner
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Michael Jameson wrote:
My main observation, is that many plants will grow like "weeds" in a given area, the idea that all possible seeds, or even the best possible seeds for a given area are already in the seed bank is faulty...Clearly what was missing for them to spread and live wildly and happily was their seed in the seed bank.  Now that they are present, they are apparently just as perfect for the area, with what I consider to be more benefit.

So yes, lets not be so anti weed, but lets leave some room for understanding their presence doesnt make them perfect.   They are mostly just present.



This is my idea exactly! I've tried to convince a seed supplier to sell buckets of common edible "weed" mixes. I want to broadcast these randomly around 160 acres wherever there is a little sun and soil and see what loves to grow where. Then I'll either plant more of that in that spot or let it spread organically if it already has a decent start.
 
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It's worth taking the time to observe ecological interactions with 'weeds'.

All the literature claims that weeds aren't a food-source for Australian native animals and that they routinely displace native plant species.
However if you sit and watch, you can see throngs of native animals eating the weeds, even preferring them to other foods and the displacement of ecosystems nearly always has human activity undermining the stability of established systems.

When plants crisscrossed the globe thousands of years ago, we call them 'naturalized' and they can become an integral part of ecosystems.
(Thinking of Nymphaea caerulea)

The other thing to note is that the global temperature is rising and the migration patterns of seed-carrying birds has been altered.
What was once an opportunistic tropical weed outside its natural range, brought by humans - is now a natural pioneer, brought by birds and germinated at optimal temperatures, providing food for subsequent generations on their now altered migration route.
(E.g. Schefflera actinophylla - umbrella tree)

I'm a fan of Lawton's term 'fast-tracked carbon pathways' as the weeds are often ready to become mulch before your green manure crop is three inches tall.
Weeds are often 30:1 ideal composters, which makes them chop n drop gold.
Weeds are usually very high in trace minerals, which is vital for soil biology.
Weeds like Paddys Lucerne have extremely high leaf-protein content, making them ideal forage for animals (or making a veggie soup more hearty).

There are 7 billion humans rearing 20 billion chickens, cultivating a trillion kilograms each of corn and rice, spending $30 billion on carcinogenic herbicides.
Every. Single. Year.

The real weeds are us and the fruits of our labours. Occupying every niche and displacing the wildlife.
The so-called 'weeds' are trying to clean up our mess and they are full of the food, fibre and medicine we could use to decarbonise our hubristic lifestyles that are fueled by outsourced environmental destruction.
 
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I think this might be one of those things where "it depends."

I live in the pacific northwest. Things grow. You leave a patch of dirt out, and it's full of something growing in a few weeks. When I visited family in Idaho, I was amazed at how there just wasn't much growing. Weeds weren't much of a problem, because the soil was so dry and devoid of organic matter. Even the bindweed was stunted!

Right now, I'm spending my days hacking back the lawn and the salmonberries and bindweed. Things like to grow. That's great! But, I can't eat grass or bindweed, and while salmonberries are edible, and I love that I get to eat berries right now because they ripen so early, I also would love diversity. And yummier berries. So, I hack back the salmonberries to add in some other natives like buffelo berry, thimbleberry, blue elderberry and blackcap raspberries. I even add in some non-natives like domestic raspberries and roses for rose hips. Over time, these salmonberry hedges would have gotten more diverse--I'm just speeding up the process and getting more yummies and antioxidents and vitamins (salmonberries don't have much in them aside from water and vitamin C...)

In my garden beds, I have nipplewort and daikon radishes self-seeding, as well as kale. Well, I like the kale *looks at kale chips in the dehydrator to see if they're done,* but we don't like daikons THAT much, and I'd also like some carrots and beets. So, I weed out a lot of the radishes (and nipplewort, which isn't that tasty) and plant some other foods...and I take the giant seed stocks from the kale and radishes and put them under my fruit tree. That way, they can self-seed over there, not where I'm trying to grow some carrots.

Wild blackberries are extremely yummy, but I still weed out their vines from my garden, because veggies and blackberry vines don't mix. In two years, you won't have any soil to plant in--it'll all be blackberries! So, I weed out the blackberries from my garden beds, while at the same time tending them and pruning and trellising those blackberries in other areas of the property.

I love my edible weeds, especially in my zones 2 and 3. In my zone 1, I don't feel too bad about weeding them out and tossing them to the chickens or using them as mulch. All that bindweed can die, though....

I think weeds are far more precious in dry areas, because it's so hard to get anything growing. You despritely need organic material and the weeds are usually a stunted and so can grow next to another plant more easily. Here, weeds grow so happily that they don't let you grow carrots. Plant a carrot seed next to a dandelion? Carrot is soon smothered by dandelion and you'd have to chop and drop that weed every few days so the carrot can grow (Believe me, I've done this!). That's a lot more work than just pulling out the dandelion and planting it under a fruit tree or throwing it to the chickens.

 
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Michael Jameson wrote:I have heard a lot of responses to folks who ask about weeds, with what I would call "weed shaming".  By this I mean effectively challenging folks that its only by their own faulty understanding that any plant should be called a weed, and that clearly since the plant is growing there, it is the perfect plant and exactly what is needed to grow there.

My main observation, is that many plants will grow like "weeds" in a given area, the idea that all possible seeds, or even the best possible seeds for a given area are already in the seed bank is faulty.

In my area, I have any number of plants growing that are not at all nice to look at.  They dont make me happy.  What does make me happy are any number of wildflowers and herbs, be they poppies, lupines, borage, chives, artichokes, cardoons, and many others that after broadcasting once have naturalized and come back every year.

Clearly what was missing for them to spread and live wildly and happily was their seed in the seed bank.  Now that they are present, they are apparently just as perfect for the area, with what I consider to be more benefit.

So yes, lets not be so anti weed, but lets leave some room for understanding their presence doesnt make them perfect.   They are mostly just present.



Definition of a weed:

Any plant in an undesirable location.
 
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I agree a lot has to do with where you live and what you need from your property.  I grew up in North West Washington, and blackberry's  where considered an invasive weed by most.  Now I live in Northern California and am trying so hard to get a blackberry to stay alive and produce.  I'm not super picky, we don't actually have grass, we mow weeds and call it grass.  That being said I hate Johnson grass.  It grows 4 to 5 feet tall and takes over. The fox tails must be kept short!  2 times in our lives we have had to take one of our dogs to the vet with a fox tail up the nose.   It's dangerous for the dog and very expensive.  I know people plant morning glory, but if left alone my other plants get strangled.  The other thing we have to be careful of in our dry climate is weeds grow fast and tall in the spring and dry out in the summer and become a fire hazard.  I guess I'm on the fence with this one.  Some weed I'm fine with, and the ones that cause harm or a hazard have to go!  
I enjoyed the clip, but also have mixed feelings about that too.  If you don't have the education, or knowledge, sometimes it's almost impossible to figure out what the weed/plant is not to mention what it does or doesn't indicate about the soil.  As a person who has spent many hours on the internet trying to find answers only to come up with a big fat 0, I can tell you it's not as easy as some of these posts make it seem.    
To weed or not to weed that is the question.
 
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