If you cant beat em, eat em!! A unique yet effective look at organic weed control.
Weeds have a bad reputation, a really bad reputation. And it is really a misplaced hate. The definition of a weed is simply a
plant in the wrong place, and although they can be extremely frustrating to the appearance of your garden they have a really important roll in the ecosystem of your back yard jungle.
Weeds are good for the garden, but don’t look very sexy.
There are a few things you may not know about weeds that might help change your opinion on them. So stay with us and read ahead!!!
They are feeding your soil, adding nutrients and improving the soil structure.
Chooks love weeds. Compost loves weeds. Worm Farms love weeds. We should love our weeds too!
Weeds are a great host plant or trap crop to encourage beneficial predators to your garden.
If you can turn the weeds upside down they will add vital nutrients back into the soil.
A lot are edible and or medicinal.
Free salad anyone?
Say what , weeds are edible? Yes, and they are bloody delicious and extremely nutrient dense!! I guess a few warnings before you go snipping up the weeds between the paving, you must be able to identify the plant 100% if you are not certain then you MUST NOT EAT IT. Secondly, foraging in public places has risks. The risk of glysophate or other poisons being sprayed on your potential tucker is quite high in these areas and with plant symptoms sometimes taking up to three days to show up you may not even know you’re eating something that has been recently sprayed. So best to stick to your own backyard or someone’s property who you know do not spray in the area.
5 delicious, nutritious and safe weeds you can munch with your lunch.
- English Dandelion Taraxcum Officinale
Dandelion flowers and leaves are great raw and in a tea can help detox and boost the immune system. Use the leaves root and flowers of a young plant.
- Sour sob Oxalis pre-carpe and others
Very sour and fresh in flavour . These beautiful flowers are a great addition to any salad!
- Blackberry nightshade Solanum nigrum (RIPE BERRIES ONLY)
These delicious sweet little berries have a really bad reputation, they are edible and so delicious. And it really figures the best way to control this invasive weed is to eat the ripe berries!
- Chickweed (star chickweed) Stellaria Media
Chickweed tastes just like spinach. Use its as you would snow pea or sprouts for a delicious free addition to you sandwich, wrap or salad.
- Red Clover – Tifloium repens
Red clover tea is great for menopause symptoms. A cooled tea leaves, or a poultice can be applied to the externally to relieve dry itchy skin. It also has a high nutrient density and can be added to salads. All of the clovers are edible.
Get to know your weeds on a more intimate level.
Knowing and understanding weeds and their rolls is the best weed control method. Use these plants Gaia has provided for the environment intentionally, for a reason, to heal and improve the area, carefully and with respect.
So many environmentally friendly and FREE options for you to choose from.
Some other very effective organic weed control methods are, hand weeding, or using a shovel to scrape the weeds from paving. You can try pouring hot water or oil over the cracks in the paving (I use the left over water from my potatoes on the pavement out the front, it works a treat!) If you absolutely HAVE to spray a mixture of white vinegar, Epsom salts and eco dish washing detergent is an awesome alternative to roundup. Getting some chooks working the area will not only benefit the soil, but you get eggs- win win! Instead of purchasing expensive and unsustainable weed matting, use cardboard boxes or old carpet under a thick layer of mulch.
And that brings us to the last but certainly not the least MULCH MULCH MULCH, nice and thick!!
Walk with me…
With every client I have I take a walk around their garden and point out a bunch of uses for plants they already have growing and may not know can be used in that way. Having knowledge on your existing plants, trees and weeds can save you heaps of time and money! If you would like the GARDEN DOCTOR to come out and help you make the most of your existing set up please contact us today and make a booking- we are currently running a 20% off special on our GARDEN DOCTOR consultation service so now is a better time than any to take advantage of the special. Contact us today before we are fully booked up over spring!
Don’t forget the shout outs!!
Thank you to Charles Otway from TerraPerma Perth and The Ellenby tree farm http://ellenbytreefarm.com/ for the inspiration for this blog. If you would like more information on Perth’s edible weeds please DOWNLOAD this help guide.