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Which "weed" do you like the most?

 
pollinator
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There's an interesting thread going about what weeds we dislike the most, here:
Which weed do you dislike the most

That inspired me to start a parallel thread about what weeds we actually like!

My favorite weed is Chickweed (Stellaria media)

It tastes really nice in salads! It comes up relatively fast in the spring when there's not much else to eat.

Chickweed spreads by seed and weeding it is not too difficult, if it gets a bit out of hand.

Chickweed indicates that your soil is in good condition, not compacted, so I'm always happy to see it because it tells me I've done a good job on my garden beds!
 
master gardener
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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This year for me it was lamb's quarters, Chenopodium album.  I had a load of compost dropped off and it was full of seed.  When I saw how many were coming up I decided to let it become a Carol Deppe style "eat all greens" bed and harvested tens of pounds of the shoots in a cut and come again process.  We had lots of great meals and it really sunk in with the kids that eating the weeds was a great thing to do.  As much as I enjoyed cooking with the C. alba, I really loved the kids interest the most.



The shoots were also quite nice harvested and cooked with unopened flower heads (the "broccoli" stage).
 
master steward
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My choice would be Stinging-Nettle-Urtica-Dioica and  Plantain-Plantago Major


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urtica_dioica




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major



 
pollinator
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It's tough to pick just one.

Dandelion, purslane, plantain. I purposely grow all three. Hey, if I purposely grow them, can I still call them weeds? Guess they aren't weeds when they're on my farm, but they're weeds for everybody else.
 
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Dandelion, creeping wood sorrel and lambs quarters. All prolifically self seed and provide an endless supply of animal forage or salad leaves without any effort from me.
 
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Hoary cross is a good forage, I love fermenting it.  Early spring flower buds are what I seek out, they look like miniature broccoli and have a spicy bite.  One must be extremely cautious about foraging locations.  It is on nearly every noxious weed list and easy locations will be sprayed.

Thistle is another "weed" I have learned to love.  Young flower stalks are tender and have relatively few spines to remove.   The central vein of large leaves can also provide a worthwhile snack.  Then aside from eating, watching the insect life that they draw is fascinating.  Seeing 3 different kinds of bees on one flower, ants farming and defending their aphids from various wasp and ladybugs.  I almost hate to admit how much time I have spent watching the drama that unfolds on thistle.

I also use thistle as mulch to detour cats from using the garden beds as litter.

 
Posts: 203
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Without a doubt Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium), makes great compost teas, is nutritious survival food, heaps of spiky mulch, the first set of true leaves are spineless and Delicious (parsleyish flavor) when young.

When I lived on a corner of cow paddock, it was as simple as piling up huge thistle plants, top with manure, cover for a few weeks and then you have big raised garden beds full of nutrient.

Of course every man and his dog hates this 'worthless spiky weed that reduces pasture capacity', but that just makes me love it even more.
 
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My favorite weed is clover. It sets nitrogen in the soil and yields a lot of protein for wildlife. Further, it is cold tolerant and perennial and lasts for years.

My most hated weed, easily, is Pigweed. Itโ€™s scientifically called Amaranthus, I call it &@#%!!??#%!! and the worst part about it is it produces tens of thousands of seeds, which can survive in the soil for years, is just about impossible to kill unless it is growing in wheat, oats or grass because 2-4 D can be used and not kill the crop, and just when you think you have killed it all...itโ€™s baaaacccckkkk!!! Arrrgggghhhh!!!
 
pollinator
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Asclepias speciosa

Native, great pollinators habitat, an edible vegetable, a fiber plant, and it isn't too hard on the eyes either.
 
master steward
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My favorite weed? T Here's so many!

Chickweed
Stinging nettle
Sheep Sorrel
Wood sorrel
Dandelion

And all those kale and daikon radishes that self-seeded :D
 
master gardener
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I feel like I know so little about the beneficial weeds, I'm excited about learning more!

Mark Whitecavage wrote:My favorite weed is clover. It sets nitrogen in the soil and yields a lot of protein for wildlife. Further, it is cold tolerant and perennial and lasts for years.



I really love clover too, and goldenrod also, both are really great at attracting pollinators!
 
gardener
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We didn't get to see our land in spring/ summer yet, but I did get to catch sights of quite a few wild/weedy green things, that I can't wait to get to the table - or into my herbal remedy stash, next year. I can't name a single favorite, at the moment. Then again, I've been the family herbalist for years. But... yarrow, comfrey, the blackberries that I've recently learned are so prevalent as to be considered aggressive weeds, in the area, clover, jewelweed (This has the potential to become the favorite, because of my ridiculous sensitivity to poison ivy!)... All of these are there. I feel like a kid, excited in August, waiting impatiently for Christmas!
 
gardener
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I love sheep sorrel it is a well documented medicinal herb that has many good properties, you can use specific parts of the plant or the whole plant (roots and all).

Now about the weed thing, I do not believe there are any "Weeds" these are just plants growing where we don't want them to grow.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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What's a weed?

I know the plants y'all mention, but I don't see any weeds.  :)

They are all my friends, the plant beings.
 
pollinator
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Bladder campion, early spring green, high in omega 3
Winter cress
Violets, these are the three plants that begin growth in the spring before anything else. And they are all delicious, but of the three I would rate bladder campion the highest. And last but not least nettles of course
 
pollinator
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Lee Gee wrote:What's a weed?

I know the plants y'all mention, but I don't see any weeds.  :)

They are all my friends, the plant beings.


"For the optimist every weed is a flower. For the pessimist, every flower a weed"

When I was a child, my favourite "flowers" were bindweed (pink) and hedge bindweed (white).
OK, I am not the big lover of those anymore but I still have a soft spot for beautiful, useful, often healing plants coming up in unlikely locations and taking care of themselves. Frankly there are so many, be it dandelion, malva moscata, oenothera...
 
Greg Martin
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Anita Martini wrote:When I was a child, my favourite "flowers" were bindweed (pink) and hedge bindweed (white).



Love it!  My childhood favorite flower was spotted touch me not, aka jewelweed.  Now as an adult it's my worst weed, constantly trying to choke out many of my plantings.  I weed it out upon first sight in my plantings and seem to never be able to keep up with it.  Maybe it just still loves me back?  Thing is that I do still love it despite the extra work and enjoy eating it's seeds (they taste like walnuts) and rubbing it on me when I'm sure that I just touched poison ivy.  

A bit off topic, chipmunks were my favorite wildlife as a child and they're all around me and my gardens now too....my childhood self would absolutely love my place!!!  Pretty sure that the chipmunks actually help spread the jewelweed around based on the way it pops up in small clumps like they were cached.  


 
pollinator
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Ah, the stripy tree rat. Also sometimes called "stinkless tree skunk", or just "those goddamn vermin."

I loved them at the cottage as a child, or camping. Without fail,  they'd find any scraps of food or uneaten bits of baked potato and make them disappear from around the camp fire of the previous night.

I think I like them better than tree rats, but not so far as to want them playing in my gardens. They're lucky they're so damned cute.

-CK
 
Posts: 287
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Amaranth. (Clearly, I disagree with Mark Whitecavage.)

It is one of my favorite leafy greens. The green amaranth, Amaranthus viridis is the usual one I use. In the Islands, we also have the spiny amaranth, Amaranthus spinosus, which I will not allow in my plot because of the spines, but when I find it along roadsides, I (carefully!) harvest its greens the same as green amaranth. Note that these are different species than the grain amaranth; I have never gotten much grain from green amaranth, although I read on Wikipedia that its grains, too, are edible.
 
gardener
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Creeping Charlie.
Not because  I eat it,  though you can.
Rather,  it covers soil and stays low and green,  year round.
It also isn't hard to remove if I really need to.
I wish it was easy to propagate, it never seems to survive my efforts to spread it.

Mulberry is my other favorite.
Even though I rarely get fruit, the biomass and wood I get are very welcome at my house.


 
gardener
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Blackberry,  plantain and clover.

Loved sour dog as a kid. I haven't seen it in years and it is probably called something else for real. We would eat those and candy flours which grew wild, weeds. (Probably also really called something else.)

 
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I don't have a single favorite 'weed'. In my garden & backyard area, there are so many to choose from. Many I have learned to use for food, medicine & fiber dyes. Jewel weed is all 3 in 1. Use small young shoots in a salad, gather sap for relief from scratches, bug bites & poison ivy woes & also cook the whole plant for orange fiber dye. After it rains on the flowers it glitters like jewels. โ˜บ
 
master pollinator
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I love garlic mustard and wild mustard.  These were my first wild greens (no wait, that was dandelion) and garlic mustard is so delicious!  And you get to feel virtuous for picking it, as many people hate its invasive nature.

I'm challenging myself next with plantain.  We have plenty of it here, but much of what's nearby is practically trampled into the ground or the bugs got there before I did.  I'm trying to grow spinach (but it was in the 90s today!), New Zealand spinach, Good King Henry, and one other perennial rocket - but all around are these edibles that don't require planting and nurturing!
 
pollinator
Posts: 300
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I just discovered that dogfennel makes a great spindle for a fire starting hand drill.
 
gardener
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I never thought I would say it, but giant ragweed has become one of my favorite weeds. For one, it's giant, so it is a great source of biomass. Then, its fairly high in protein, and makes good forage for the poultry, pigs, and rabbits. The roots don't go extremely deep, so it's easy to pull up in my sandy soil if I want to remove it, but it also bounces back quickly if I cut it at the ground (and sends up multiple new stems). One of the best things about it is that it typically waits until the autumn to set seed, so I can utilize the same plants all through the spring and summer, then pull the ones I don't want reseeding in an area.
In the past, I've always hated it because it would come up everywhere and easily get 12-14 ft tall. This year, for the first time ever, I actually kind of wish I had more because I've already used most of the ones growing in my zones 1 & 2 as animal food or mulch for the pecan trees. :D
 
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Have to agree with the nettles - nettle tea anyone..? ๐Ÿ˜…
 
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depends on season.

Prostrate knotweed, carolina and common dandelion, creeping charlie, wide leaf and buckhorn plantain, indian mock strawberry, dead nettle, etc.  All great for composting!
 
pollinator
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Right now I really like bidens/beggar ticks. I've got some kind of beetle i haven't got around to identifying yet kinda like a cucumber beetle. The larva is similar to a ladybug's. Judging by the skeletonized cottonwood saplings it leaves behind it could be a wicked garden pest. I still don't know if it likes any of my garden plants cause as long as I have some bidens growing throughout the garden the beetles swarm those plants and don't touch anything else.
 
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Cannabis sativa.
We call it 'weed' where I grew up.
Definitely one of my favourites
 
master pollinator
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Knot  Weed.  It is one of the few weeds I can identify. It is easy to remove.
 
Steve Thorn
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Its funny how things change.

Privet has gone from one of my most dreaded, to one of my favorite "weeds".

At the top of its positive attributes, it makes a great grape vine trellis to make an edible hedge!




 
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Musk mallow arrived on my allotment all by itself.  I like nettles, but I wouldn't allow one to grow anywhere it pleased.  The musk mallow is so easy going and has pretty flowers, and goes nicely in salads, it gets away with popping up all over the place and I think yeah, you're not in the way there, you can stay!
 
master pollinator
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Purslane and wood sorrel are some of the yummiest for me. Slightly tangy or lemony. But I make sure not to let them take hold in more than a couple places... that could get out of control quickly :) Apparently purslane shoots its seeds? And I don't mind the lamb's quarters.

My all time favourite showed up in my last garden--black raspberry. I loved that plant. You just have to keep it a little under control... it roots wherever it touches the ground long enough.  It's maybe not what most people think of as a "weed", but it definitely acts weedy and shows up unannounced. But the berries taste amazing. Gotta get another one for this garden.
 
master steward
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Milkweed would be mine.  A few dozen pop up around the place each year.  They usually have monarch caterpillars on them and they smell divine.  It's easy to work around them so I let them be.
 
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