March 28 is Weed Appreciation Day, a day to go out and hug the common weeds found in your lawn or garden. Why appreciate weeds, you ask? What possible good can they be? Read on……….. Definition of a Weed: A weed is any plant that is not in a place where you want it to be. Even edible, medicinal, herbal plants, and even flowers, are considered weeds to those who don’t want them where they pop up. Dandelions are a perfect example. In the lawn dandelions are weeds. Dandelions are edible, and are used in salads and to make dandelion wine. For example:
- Flowers can make their way into you vegetable garden, where you pull them out, like any other weed.
- Even a common flower, vegetable or herb would be considered a weed, in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk.
- No one but a child considers dandelions in the lawn, to be anything other than a weed.
- I do not know a single person who likes ragweed in any way, shape or form.
- Queen Anne’s Lace is a popular flower in English gardens. In the USA however, it is considered an invasive weed.
- Has anyone found a use for Tumbleweed?
Now, consider the reverse…..
- Imagine you are lost in the woods for days with no food or water. You come upon purslane, an otherwise common and pesky weed in the vegetable garden. This leafy, nutritious green, is quite edible, and may help to save your life.
- If you love your salad greens, then the tender inner leaves of dandelion plants belong in your fresh garden salad. It does not belong in your lawn. It may belong in your garden as a salad green.
- Dandelions are certainly not a weed, if you are a vintner and want to make dandelion wine.
- Weeds offer food and shelter to birds and wildlife.
- Many weeds produce an attractive flower.
- Some weeds offer actual or potential medicinal value. Imagine if an obnoxious weed in your flower garden, is someday identified as a cure for cancer or the common cold.
Common weeds do offer some benefits. They provide the very oxygen that you breathe. Weeds take in the carbon dioxide that you exhale. Many weeds offer food and shelter for birds and wildlife. Take some time today, to hug your weeds, water your weeds, fertilize your weeds, or whatever you prefer to do to enjoy your weeds. We hope you and your weeds have a very happy Weed Appreciation Day!
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