INVASIVE WEEDS OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS Part Two: Why They're Actually a Good Thing

Filed under Plants, Misc by Lauren Cook on .

It might sound weird, but weeds aren't all that bad. They actually can have several beneficial uses.


  1. Weeds are survivors. Most weeds can't rely on their good looks to get them by. Many of them have long, deep roots that help weeds thrive in poor or compacted soils and adverse growing conditions that would have most ornamentals withering up and dieing. These deep roots can improve soil structure and even make nutrients in the soil more readily available to your favorite desirable plants.


  2. Weeds are messengers. If you have weeds, your soil might be trying to tell you something. Some weeds are excellent indicators of a nutrient deficiency or toxicity within the soil.  For example,  weeds such as nettle, morning glory and quackgrass can mean that your soil has an excess of potash. For more information on what weeds in your yard are trying to tell you about your soil, read Weeds and What They Tell Us by Ehrenfried Pfieffer.


  3. Weeds are great companions. Companions to other plants, that is. Shorter weeds, help taller plants by growing around the base and preventing soil-borne diseases from spreading via splashing water. They also help keep moisture in the soil by shading the roots. Another great example of companion planting is pigweed, planted evenly amongst potatoes in the garden can increase harvest and keeping qualities by encouraging strong root development and preventing root crowding in the soil.


So, you see, weeds aren't all that bad. Change your perspective on weeds and you may have already won the war against these invasive plants and saved yourself from a sore back this summer.

Greenridge Landscaping - Carbondale Il. Landscape Professionals