Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring time! - Baby Weeds

It’s still too cold to actually celebrate spring, but you have probably already started your seedlings in nurseries or indoors and some baby plants are anxiously waiting to get to the real ground. If only it would get a little warmer. In the meantime you have already spotted lots of little plants coming up spontaneously all over your garden. But you had other plans for your garden than to grant it entirely to these “opportunistic” plants. Wondering what to do with these “weeds”? Perhaps it is a good moment to learn to identify them. Getting to know the true value of each of these plants may help you to make better decisions concerning their “destiny”. 

Many of the plants considered weeds contain in fact higher nutritional value than our cultivated leafy vegetables. Some of these opportunistic plants can also improve the health of the soil where we want to grow our vegetables while others can speed up and enrich composting piles. Some can even be used in natural preparations to strengthen cultivated plants, protecting them from diseases and from plague attacks.

Here are some garden jewels that you might want to keep or use in one or another way (salads, juices, soups, liquid compost, fertilizer or natural plant spray). This is how they look in their early days:
(read more below the pictures...)
Malva sylvestris - Common Mallow
Aegopodium podagaria - Ground Elder
Alliaria petiolata - Garlic Mustard
Hypochoeris radicata - Cat's Ear

Anthriscus sylvestris - Wild Chervil / Cow Parsley
Bellis perennis - Daisy

Stellaria media - Chickweed
Taraxacum officinale - Dandelion

Bellis perennis - Daisy

Equisetum arvense - Horsetail

Cardamine spp - Bittercress

Cardamine spp - Bittercress

Glechoma hederacea - Ground Ivy

Plantago lanceolata - Plantain
Veronica filiformis - Speedwell

Urtica dioica - Nettles

Achillea millefolium - Yarrow
But there are also a few poisonous plants that pop up spontaneously in your garden which you might not want to see growing together with your vegetables, in particular plants that can pass on toxic substances to other plants through their roots. It is thus pretty handy to learn about those too, since many of them are easier to be removed in their early stage.

This site is filled with useful information on the various common weeds that can be found pretty much all over Europe. It offers nature-friendly solutions to deal with any plant that is not “desirable” on your garden:

For those living in non-English speaking countries, you may want to search them by their latin names, if you are not familiar with their common name in English:

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