Summer is here and the gardens are all in bloom. Unfortunately, your herbs and vegetables are not the only things that you love at this time of year. Garden invaders such as sorrel, clover and crabgrass are also strengthening.
Of course, sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish which are actually weeds and which could be very useful and healthy plants. While most people would agree that weeds are unwanted additions to a lawn or garden that invades the landscape and consumes valuable water and nutrients, defining the specific difference between a weed and a regular plant may be a little more complicated. In general, a weed can be characterized because anything a gardener creates is an annoying and unwanted plant. Even flora like wild violets Technically it can be considered a weed, although some appreciate the nuances of color that bring to your patio or garden. That is why perceptions about common weeds depend to a large extent on the individual.
Actually, there are a number of weeds that can be useful:
Dandelions can be seen growing almost anywhere, although they seem to be very fond of lawns, and most people consider them a weed. But dandelions are actually quite versatile and have multiple uses. For example, you can cut the leaves and use them in a salad; They are an excellent alternative to arugula and are full of vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene, and estate They contain inulin and levulin, which is known to help regulate blood sugar, as well as taraxacin, which helps stimulate digestion. You can also take advantage of the roots, using them for medicinal purposes to treat problems of the urinary tract and liver.
Chickweed, also known as satin flower or starwort, can be found throughout North America, most commonly as a weed of the earth. In fact, it is an excellent soil cover as it grows instead of growing, and studies have found that it offers anti-inflammatory properties. You can prepare the leaves to prepare a tea that alleviates digestive problems, such as ulcers and bladder infection, or use them in a balm to alleviate skin problems, such as psoriasis or eczema.
While you're probably thinking about the banana-like fruit, banana weeds They are common throughout the world. But it is an edible weed that has a nutritional profile similar to that of dandelion, which means that it contains a large amount of important vitamins and minerals. The leaves are tastier when they are small, because the larger they are, the more bitter they are. Fry them in olive oil to highlight their nutty flavor, similar to that of asparagus, or mix them to make an ointment that can be used to help a cut heal faster.
While you have to be very careful when handling them and wearing gloves, nettles are really delicious when they are prepared as tea or when they are cooked. When they are steamed or boiled, those tiny needles fall out and you'll get a lot of nutrition, including the essential minerals you just can not find, other than a multivitamin anyway. They offer magnesium, Iodine, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and silica. And, they even have some protein, more than most plants.
Purslane it is what it sees growing in the cracks of the sidewalk, it is everywhere and everything is edible: the stems, the flowers and the leaves. You can eat raw in a salad or lightly sautéed to enjoy your nutrition, which includes vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Just do not mix it with a similar weed, spurge, which is much thinner and contains a sap of milk.
Clover is a wild herb that can be turned into a tea, although red clover is the most coveted type of clover, as it is famous for its unusually high nutritional value. It is loaded with many valuable nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, chromium, niacin, potassium, phosphorus and thiamine, but is especially noted for its isoflavones, which are water-soluble compounds that act as estrogens. That makes it effective to address problems such as hot flashes and premenstrual syndrome, as well as to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, improve blood circulation and much more. In addition, its dark pink flowers look absolutely beautiful when they cover a field in the spring.
If you prefer to take advantage of as much weed as possible, you may want to look for a guide to correctly identify each and every one of the wild edible crops, such as A field guide for edible wild plants. Another option is to ask a local botanist or herbalist to take you on a "brush walk". Once you know which weed you have for which you have no use, you will want to remove it from your garden without having to resort. to harmful chemicals that will not only damage the quality of your soil and crops, but could also harm the environment, as well as your health, the health of your family, pets and wildlife.
11 best ways to get rid of garden weeds organically:
In that note, we will give you some ideas so you can start.
1. Take them out
Of course this sounds simple, but anyone who has tried to keep up with the weeds by pulling them knows that it is not always that easy. For weeds near your herbs or vegetables in raised beds and containers, it is often the best way to do it. The best time to pull weeds is when the soil is still wet from watering. Pull slowly from the base of the brush to have the best chance of plucking a root and be sure to use garden gloves for thorny plants such as thistles. Some weeds that have more than one system of fibrous roots are still quite easy to eliminate, but they are less disordered if they are removed when the garden soil begins to dry slightly. Another good way to reduce your weed population is to eliminate them when they are young before they have had the opportunity to go to the seed.
You can collect all the weeds you have removed and add them to you. compost pile, so they are really contributing to the health of your garden. If you have selected a field guide, be sure to take it with you so that you can identify the weeds you wish to keep that you have not previously noticed.
2. suffocate them
Just like the plants you really want on the beds in your garden, weeds have a hard time surviving without adequate sunlight. It can kill existing weeds, prevent new ones from growing and help keep moisture in the soil for the plants you want by using a little old newspaper and garden mulch. Simply cover the area with several layers of large newspaper strips (the newspaper is biodegradable), then place enough mulch on the paper to cover it completely.
If some strong weeds manage to push your first attempt, simply add another layer of newspaper and then more mulch. The result will be suffocated. weeds And no more growth of these unwanted vegetable companions.
3. Mix a homemade herbicide.
Chemical herbicides are a bad idea for everyone, but you can make your own herbicide without chemicals easily enough. Get a good quality spray bottle and fill it with 2 cups of white vinegar, half a cup of salt and a little soap. Be sure to mix it well so that the salt dissolves as much as possible, or the spray bottle may become clogged. Be careful when using this remedy near the beds in your garden, as it could also kill your vegetables. If you have problems for the sprayer to become clogged, you can also try a 50/50 water and vinegar solution.
The next time you are boiling potatoes or pasta, instead of throwing the water down the drain, place it directly on the weeds that grow in the cracks of your sidewalk or patio or on the garden paths. However, you must do it immediately, since the water must be boiling or near it to work. Be careful with your hands and feet, and keep children and pets away. Go slowly and concentrate when transporting the hot container. Do not try this method with garden beds, as it will damage the quality of your soil and kill everything you touch.
5. leave them
This is another method with which you must be very careful and it is better for the areas where you do not want anything to grow again, ever. But a simple spray of salt along the edges of your lawn, between cracks in the sidewalk or on the garden paths will kill the weeds. However, be careful, leave the soil arid and can damage the concrete. At the end of the snow season, you can usually get a good deal of rock salt, which works very well for this, but any type of salt will do.
6. burn them
This is my favorite method to kill weeds. You can get a propane weed burner at most garden stores (or just use a manual torch, like the one you would use to make crème brulee). Actually, it is not necessary to set fire to weeds; In fact, in an area with dry grass that can be very dangerous, just lighting a hot flame over them will generally cause them to lose all their internal moisture, shrink and shrink. Die in a few days. Actually, it can be very fun to see them disappear in a cloud of smoke. The heat boils water in the cells of plants, which is what causes them to burst and die.
7. Shake them
For ornamental garden areas, you can use some advanced planning to make sure that you will rarely (or never) have to pull the weeds. You can go to your local nursery and find many plants that cover the soil for shade and sun that will prevent weeds from receiving the sunlight, water and soil nutrients they need to survive. Researchers at Cornell University have identified the following plants as exceptional to eliminate weeds:
Phlox emerald of blue moss (phlox subulata) Cloak of thriller for lady (Alchemilla Mollis) The lower mint of Walker (nepeta x faasenii) Gold fleece dwarf goldenrod (solidago sphacelata) Albiflouros thyme creeping (thymus praecox) False Pride of Herman (lamiastrum galeobdolon) Majestic lilyturf (liriope)
8. Plan ahead and solarize your beds.
If you have empty garden beds during the summer, or even in the late spring, if you live in a warmer area, you can prepare them for the autumn planting by solarization. This will eliminate any weeds that are growing now and cut the number that will grow in the next season. After all, as Ben Franklin once said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
If done correctly, it can also eliminate soilborne diseases and many garden pests. All you need is some thin, transparent plastic that you can find in most garden stores.
Before you begin, clean and rake the soil from the debris and dig a small trench (approximately 8 "deep) around the outer edges of the bed, place the plastic on the bed and place the edges in the ditch that you dug. Refill the trenches with dirt, making sure the plastic fits snugly around the bed so it does not flutter or move, leave the plastic there for 4-6 weeks, when you remove it, re-sand the floor and add Your compost or fertilizer will have a healthy garden bed, ready for the fall planting, which will have a significantly smaller amount of weeds than your other beds.
9. Eradicate them with oil.
We are not talking about diesel, old motor oil or gasoline; All these things are toxic to the soil and should never be used in garden weeds, but cheap vegetable oils, such as sunflower or canola oil, can be used. These oils are biodegradable and are broken down by bacteria in the soil and contain natural herbicidal and pesticidal properties.
Essential oils They are also effective in eliminating weeds, especially cloves, summer, cinnamon and red thyme. Use any of the mentioned oils, and simply spray the oil on the weeds to cover and smother them.
10. Raise chickens
The chickens have many uses In addition to supplying fresh eggs, they can even help solve your weed problem. They are excellent for cleaning the garden and also for cultivating the soil a little. As they prepare their garden bed each spring, the chickens will happily pluck those weeds that grow early and devour the seeds of the weeds that hope to sprout as the season progresses. At the end of the summer, let your chickens go crazy so they can clean their garden, along with the pests and weeds, which tear and peck, reaching those bulbs and weed bulbs.
11. corn gluten
Corn gluten is a natural byproduct of corn processing in corn flour that can prevent seeds from becoming growing weeds. It will not damage existing plants and, as an additional benefit, has a high nitrogen content, so it also feeds your soil. How to prevent germination, distribute it around your established plants, and after the seedlings and transplants have strengthened your soil. Re-sprinkle after harvest to avoid weeds at the end of the season.
Reference: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/get-rid-of-garden-weeds/, by Susan Patterson
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