All Things Gardening forum: Has anyone allowed certain weeds to grow in their garden?

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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
Jan 23, 2017 2:59 PM CST
Has anyone allowed any weeds to grow in their garden? I mean weeds not marijuana lol. I remember when I was little I was told not to eat sour grass weeds because cats piss on them
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 23, 2017 4:33 PM CST
Please define "weeds".

I deliberately spread tree spinach (chenopodium giganteum) in my garden... I pick and eat the lambsquarter greens until it starts to bolt... and then the birds eat the seed in the winter.

I allow the amaranth to grow as a trap crop for cucumber beetles... and hopefully it helps out the soil as a nutrient accumulator.

I enjoy the poke weeds that grow in the garden, and the birds that eat the berries...

I collected some thistle (Carduus nutans) seed from the roadside, and planted it in the garden...

California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
Jan 23, 2017 4:42 PM CST
Undesirable weeds for other people I guess is the best way I can define it?
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 23, 2017 5:23 PM CST
Here's the problem with the term...

If you go to a "weeds" site, they may list tomato as a weed!

There are people that go down the bed and kill everything that doesn't look like the plants they purchased... plants that are rare and endangered get hoed out just the same as any other plant that doesn't happen to match the stuff they got from the nursery... and many of the worst weeds in our gardens... started out as plants and seeds purchased at one of those plant nurseries.

I've read forum threads where some is complaining about having hoed out all the seedlings that came up from the packet... she didn't recognize the plants...


I think that a "tidy garden" is an affront against Gaia, and nobody should remove a plant that they can't positively identify... and when someone comments that a plant is a weed... they may be wrong.

Most plants have value, if we remove it from the garden before we discover what it is... oops.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Jan 23, 2017 5:33 PM CST
There are many plants that are considered to be weeds but if my dogs eat them, I allow them to grow. One plant they enjoy is Cleavers/Goosebrass/Galium; I grab a couple of handfuls and toss some to the rabbits once in a while.

Another is clover, both white clover and crimson clover. My daughter's dog likes to lie down in the cool clover on a hot day. (Yes, I check first that there are no bees.)

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Jan 23, 2017 5:47 PM CST
Well, really a weed is just a plant growing where we don't want it...

I try to be pretty diligent about cleaning out the weeds in my vegetable garden but always have some interesting volunteers (lots of bird-planted sunflowers, and things that self-sow like dill and amaranth - which are easily recognized when small so I let them be). My often-neglected flower garden, on the other hand, has much more of a chance for volunteers (both flowers and weeds) to grow Hilarious!
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Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Jan 23, 2017 8:45 PM CST
I let Portulaca, Amaranth, Chenopodium, Allium, Viola, and Mentha species grow as they please in my backyard. They're weeds, but they're useful (and tasty) weeds!

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