Of course, with all the craziness going on with the coronavirus, people don’t need an excuse to want to go outside. They are tired of being stuck at home already and it has not even been that long yet. I suppose being stuck at home with all the kids for more than a weekend is a lot for anyone, right? So, get out and appreciate those weeds on weed appreciation day, March 28th.
Free and Pretty
One thing about weeds is that they don’t cost you anything to grow. They just grow on their own without you having to plant and cultivate them at all. Another thing about weeds is that they are hardy. Some of them are almost impossible to get rid of. Like dandelions. Have you ever tried to get them all out of your yard? After spending all day pulling them all out of your yard and then you look out the next day to see those yellow beauties popping right up again. Seriously, just leave them alone. They are pretty. They are even good to eat. Which is good for when the grocery store runs out of food. Have a dandelion salad. You can eat violets too. Here are some of the other weeds that flower:
- Black Nightshade
- Common Ragwort
- Creeping Buttercup
- Creeping Thistle
- Daisy Weed
- Wild Violet
They are Good for Your Yard
Some weeds are actually good for your lawn and your garden. Many weeds protect your yard by holding the soil together. That way it does not erode when it rains or gets really windy. In addition, a lot of weeds build up vital nutrients in the soil by pulling them from the subsoil. As the weeds die, they make an actual fertilizer that heals damaged topsoil. As they decay, organic material creates tiny holes for air and help worms make tunnels to boost the microbes in your soil. They also do not live long so their dying flowers and foliage attract beneficial insects. These “good bugs” help get rid of the “bad bugs.” The top five weeds that help your yard include:
- Dandelion (again)
- White Clover
- Lamb’s Quarters
- Broadleaf Plantain
Wildflowers are Native Plants
There has to be a reason for weeds. After all, they just grow out of nowhere, right? That means they are probably native to your area, which is good for the environment. If you have ever seen a field full of wildflowers and thought about how pretty they are, that should tell you something. When we lived in the suburbs, we hardly ever saw any wildflowers besides a dandelion or two and white clover. After moving here to the Ozarks, we realized how beautiful a field full of wildflowers is. All along the sides of the road on the way to town and in the fields around us, yellow, white, and orange flowers pop up every year. Sometimes there are some purple and pink ones too. They get more vivid every year. In fact, my hubby has stopped cutting the lawn as far back as before to let the flowers grow in closer to the house.
Weeds are Lucky
Okay, so get outside. Take the dog for a walk. Bring the kids or grandkids out and show them the different kinds of weeds and explain why they are good. Even if they do not have pretty flowers, a yard full of clovers can be beautiful too. Sit in the yard with the kids and look for four-leaf clovers. If you spend enough time, you may find one. And they are lucky, right? Tuck it into a wallet or envelope and carry it with you. Maybe you will win the lottery. Hey, maybe you could send it to the doctors trying to come up with a vaccine to the coronavirus. You never know. It may help.
Living things are just trying to survive after all. Who made the decision that plants like clover or dandelions are weeds and roses and tulips are flowers? It could easily be the other way around. Is it because weeds are easy to grow, and flowers are not? Is that what makes the flowers worth more than the weeds? If so, we have things backward, don’t we? I think that what grows wild and free is much better than something you have to pull up and bring indoors every year, so it does not die during the winter. Don’t get me wrong. I love flowers. I have all kinds of them. But I don’t see why the wild irises and lilies are considered flowers but not the pretty little wild violets. Can someone explain that to me?
One more interesting thing. We bought and planted tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs about five years ago. A few of them lived and thrived, multiplying and doing well. However, most of them disappeared. I guess they died. Our lawn is not the best. We live in the glades so there is more bedrock than soil here. But that is not the weird part. This year, 15 daffodils popped up in the yard right outside my kitchen window. Nobody planted them. All my daffodils were planted way in the back yard and disappeared at least three years ago. I love them. All 15 of them. They are in a weird spot, right in the middle of the yard. But they are so pretty. Bright yellow spots of sunshine right out the window I walk past dozens of times a day. They make me smile.