What benefits and harm do weeds bring + how to make fertilizer out of them

Who divided all plants into beneficial and harmful (i.e. weeds)? Most likely, they were summer residents who were not happy with the fact that certain "green comrades" did not obey their will and grow where they were not invited. But in nature, absolutely useless plants do not exist, and the most malicious weed, which we get from year to year in our own beds, can be used to profit. "Sterile" kitchen gardens are not in vogue now, because many owners have learned what benefits weeds are for garden crops, and are trying to use riotous vegetation for their own benefit. We will figure out which weeds to continue the fight with, and whom in moderation it is advisable to leave in the beds.

Harm or Benefit: What More from Weeds?

When summer residents start a war with weeds, their only desire is to completely surrender the green enemy and eradicate it from their own garden. But the problem is that there are millions of weed seeds in the soil, and they retain their germination for many decades. So replaced by the weathered ones come new herbs, awakened by the movement of the soil. And the man himself wakes them up, carrying out cultivation and weeding.

The harmful effects of weeds on garden crops

If you ask the summer resident what damage the weeds cause, the first thing he will say: they inhibit the growth of cultivated plants. This fact really takes place, but only at the stage of germination of vegetables, when the sprouts are frail and have not gained strength. In the struggle for sun and light, weeds can easily displace weaker ones from the beds. But when the same tomatoes or peppers gained thickness and grew so that they had to be tied up, then no weeds would drown them.

In potato beds, the most terrible enemy is wheatgrass. It not only interferes with the development of potatoes, but also gnaws the tubers with its roots, taking food from them for itself. A wheatgrass is able to lift a concrete blind area, breaking through cracks, spoil tile joints on paths, etc. If you choose among the weeds the most harmful, then the palm should be given to him. It is impossible to come to an agreement with wheatgrass and a merciless struggle must be waged. In large fields, this grass is destroyed by herbicides and constant cultivation of the land (disking, harrowing, etc.), and in flower beds the only option to etch the roots from the ground is to mulch. But not with sawdust or bark, but first cover the ground with black spanbond, which will block sunlight for the weed, and pour some decorative material on top. And this coating does not take off a couple of years.

If a bindweed, or a folk birch tree, is out of control, it is destroyed with kerosene, which does no harm to garden crops

All other weeds - dandelions, nettle, chamomile, chick, tansy, wood lice, etc. - can and should be used to improve the growth of garden crops.

How useful are weeds for gardeners?

Immediately make a reservation that everything is good in moderation. Therefore, weeds can be talked about only when their numbers are constrained within a certain framework, uncontrolled seeding and clogging of beds is not allowed.

In such thickets of weeds, the garden, of course, will not survive, but how much green fertilizer can be obtained if all this is mowed and chopped

Weeds signal soil deficiencies. Each weed has its own needs for soil acidity and its mineral composition. Therefore, for plants that breed annually on your site and are not going to leave it, you can understand what your soil lacks:

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  • So, horsetail field and plantain signal that your soil is acidified. And if you take measures to neutralize it, then these herbs will disappear themselves, without any weeding.
  • Woodlice, coltsfoot, wheat grass, sow thistles - indicators of healthy acidity. They live on slightly acidic and neutral soils.
  • If a lot of swans began to appear among the potato furrows, this is a hint that it is time to change the place for potatoes. This soil is too tired of this crop.
  • The emergence of a large number of weeds, blooming in late summer and autumn, indicates poor soil fertility and lack of humus.

Weeds help plant development . Botanists have long noticed that some nearby plants can influence each other positively. In the process of growth, they secrete phytoncides, remove enzymes and ions through the pores, which are washed away by the rains into the soil and get to the roots of other crops, strengthening their immunity and resistance to diseases.

Dandelion is cut to create mulch, while the flower buds have not yet opened, otherwise they will ripen in the garden and scatter across all beds

So, dandelions on cucumber beds contribute to the accelerated ripening of fruits, because during flowering they emit a special gas - ethylene. If the aerial part of the dandelion is mown and crushed into mulch, then the soil will receive almost the entire set of mineral elements.

Umbrella crops, which are planted by self-sown (dill, cumin), as well as wormwood, scare away insect pests. It is useful to leave them in tree circles, among cabbage, so that butterfly whites do not spoil the vegetable. And nettles will not let slugs and snails enter the garden.

The pungent smell of dill scares away insect pests from the cucumber beds, and aromatic substances released into the air improve photosynthesis and lash health

Nettle growing in cabbage beds or between strawberry bushes will become a serious blockade for snails and slugs, especially in wet summers

Weeds serve as protection against the scorching sun. Many crops experience extreme stress during the hot summer, especially if summer residents do not have time to water them on time. Melons are most affected: zucchini, pumpkins and the same cucumbers, because wide leaves evaporate moisture at an accelerated pace. If such a season is coming, it is worth leaving these beds incomplete. Weeds are taller than creeping crops, so they will create the necessary shadow. But the existing version that if we do not weed tomatoes, then weeds will protect the fruits from fog, is wrong. Phytophthora affects tomatoes not because of fog, but because of increased humidity, lack of ventilation between the bushes. And if you still haven't weed, then the air simply will not be able to circulate in the garden. Accordingly, tomatoes will begin to hurt more often.

Tomatoes require good ventilation of the bushes, so they are weeded out carefully and do not mulch the green mass, so that there are no excessive fumes

Using weeds to enrich the soil

All weeds harvested before seed ripening are excellent organic fertilizers. They are laid in compost, mulch beds, paths. Many plants can be infused and used as foliar top dressing. Such sprayings at the same time kill aphids and enrich crops with useful elements.

To greens decompose more actively, it is recommended to grind it beforehand. You can make a grass chopper with your own hands, read about it: tech / izmelchitel-travy-svoimi-rukami.html

An interesting way to use weeds was invented by Kaliningrad summer residents. They mow all harmful vegetation, chop it, mix it with lawn grass and lay it in rows on a plowed garden where potatoes are planned to be planted in spring. The layer is not less than 30 cm. With the advent of spring, no earthwork is carried out anymore. And seed potatoes are simply planted under the mulch and awaiting the appearance of sprouts. The tubers are warm in the rotting grass, they are not attacked by the Colorado potato beetle, which is scared off by the smell of decaying plant debris. It is not necessary to water such beds, it is only possible to carry out earthing up from the sides, to raise the rows. Productivity is slightly lower than usual when potatoes grow in the ground, but care is a minimum.

If we approach the weeds wisely, then the harm caused by them can be wrapped in their favor and achieve greater productivity without the use of chemical fertilizers.


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