To weed or not to weed?

Published Apr 26, 2023


Weeds. Those pesky little plants that always seem to pop up where they’re not wanted. They may be the bane of every gardener’s existence, but did you know that they actually serve a very important purpose in your garden? That’s right, folks. Weeds are not the enemy. They are your secret weapon in the fight against boring, cookie-cutter gardens.

A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, growing where it is not wanted. The concept of weeds is particularly significant in agriculture, where the aim is growing crops or pastures of a single species, or a mixture of a few desired species.

In such environments, other plant species are considered undesirable and therefore weeds. I personally do not believe that any plant is a weed, a plant is a plant. Unless its an invasive, alien species, it has every right to be there.

First of all, weeds add diversity to your garden. Who wants a garden full of the same old flowers and plants? Yawn. With weeds, you never know what you’re going to get. One day it’s a dandelion, the next day it’s a wildflower you’ve never seen before. It’s like a surprise party for your garden!

Secondly, weeds are an excellent source of exercise. You know that saying, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? “Well, if your garden ain’t broke, it’s probably because you’re not spending enough time weeding.

Those back-breaking hours spent pulling up weeds and digging out their roots will give you a workout that rivals any gym session. Plus, you get to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done when you finally stand up and survey your weed-free garden.

But wait, there’s more! Weeds also provide a habitat for beneficial insects and animals. Bees and butterflies love wildflowers and other flowering weeds. Birds and other critters like to hide and nest in the tangle of weeds and bushes.

So, by leaving some weeds in your garden, you’re actually helping to support the local ecosystem. Who knew that weeds could be so altruistic?

Weeds are also a great conversation starter. Picture this: you’re at a braai with the menses, sipping on a beer and admiring your perfectly manicured flower beds. Suddenly, someone spots a dandelion poking its head up in the middle of your prized petunias. (Don’t get me started on lawns!)

You can either scowl and pretend you don’t see it, or you can embrace the moment and launch into a passionate defence of your weeds. Trust us, it’s a guaranteed way to get people talking and make some new friends.

So, the next time you’re tempted to reach for that bottle of weed killer, remember all the good that weeds can do. Embrace their wild, unpredictable nature and let them thrive in your garden.

Who knows? You might just discover a new favourite plant.

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