What Are Your Weeds Telling You?

Categories: Green

Have you ever noticed how some weeds grow in one area and not another? It turns out you can learn quite a bit from listening to your weeds!

We were glad to discover an article on this topic by Diana Barker on Homestead.org.

Look to the Weeds

by Dianna Barker on Homestead.org

Gardeners and farmers constantly battle with the weeds, but weeds can have a useful purpose as a soil indicator. Simply by observing the most prevalent weeds that are growing in a specific area, they can indicate if the soil is acidic or alkaline, whether the soil is a healthy, balanced soil, or if it’s depleted.  Weeds can indicate a poorly draining soil, or a soil that is unable to retain moisture.  Weeds can even indicate if the soil is unbalanced, being overly rich in one nutrient and deficient in others.

When using weeds as a soil indicator, observe several of the most prevalent types of weeds to get an accurate soil assessment.  For example, the dandelion and common mullein both indicate an acidic soil, but common mullein can also mean a low fertility soil, so if you see it alone, it could mean several things, but seeing it along with dandelions would indicate an acidic soil.

Mullein and dandelion together, mean an acidic soil.

Common Mullein alone indicates low fertility soil.

Pay attention also to the health of the weeds, a healthy stand of clover could indicate a soil that lacks nitrogen, while the same weed will grow in soil that had sufficient nitrogen, but will appear much less vigorous.

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found via GardaenSall

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