A rave and questions about weeds:

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by johnnystillcantread, May 22, 2007.

  1. Hello! Part of my job is weeding flower gardens and it kind of amasses me how well weeds are designed to survive and reproduce. Some weeds if you miss a little piece of root they will grow again. Most of the weeds I pulled today were a kind that get small white flowers on them and after they go to seed if you just touch the weed the seeds explode off of it and travel about a foot or so away. I kind of wonder if because there is a bit of force to the seeds exploding off the weed if part of the design is to shoot the seed into the soil or if it is just to spread the seeds away from the mother plant. Today I was thinking about what someone once told me and it was that weeds are mother natures way of protecting top soil from alter violet light from the sun. If that’s true what about my vegetable garden it has been weed free for years – should I be putting bark mulch down to protect the soil from the alter violet light or some kind of ground cover? Cheers!
     
  2. gardener

    gardener Realistic Humanist

    My veggies are never totally weed free. Just because. Hey mother nature will best all of us, no matter what sort of neat freak you are. It's actually a combination of the two.

    A plant's main goal in life is to procreate. And they have adapted to make the most of all our work to evicerate them. I've learned to live with most of them. With things like Johnson Grass, the only thing you can really do is to minimize their colonies. Had a horticulture professor instill in me that the "best time to pull a weed...is when you see it". When you can't get everything strive to break the life cycle and not allow them to go to seed. But man will never get all of them.

    Mulch is your friend. It loosens the soil to make weeding easier, conserves water and does inhibit some weeds. I use everything for mulch from lawn clippings to newspaper and old carpet. I wouldn't go out and buy bark for mulch, every garden has stuff you can use that's free and readily recyclable.
     
  3. Thanks! I have lots of old carpet around here so I might give that a try. It might even be helpful in controlling slugs I will look under the carpet for slugs during the hot part of the day. (slugs hide in-between moist things during the hot part of the day) Might sound cruel but I turn slugs into fertilizer and compost - they do a lot of damage to my plants. I am still wondering if it is true about alter violet light damaging topsoil. Cheers!
     
  4. Weeds are quite amazing. But if you think about, "weeds" are simply out of place plants. But they can serve quite a number of purposes. For example, my garden use to be incrediably acidic. My soil was actually white in many places, and most plants could not grow. But some hardy "weeds" could. 5 years later, this particular patch of soil is some of the most fertile I have. Not because of any commercial products I bought, but because these weeds and their offspring put nutrients into the ground. I suppose everything has a purpose.
     
  5. That’s kind of interesting – there is a weed around here called stinging nettle and were ever it grows the soil is rich. I always figured the nettle chose good areas to grow in. But re-thinking the soil is probably rich because of the nettle breaking down year after year. Cheers!
     
  6. gardener

    gardener Realistic Humanist

    Ultra violet light is part of what the sun provides our world, can't imagine it as a big bugaboo, just part of what makes things grow.

    There are some weeds like sedge that only establish in low nitrogen soils. They should be a wake up call that something is needed.
     

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