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What is it with Weeds?

Nature’s way of telling you that there are problems in your soil is if your soil contains weeds. Knowing your weeds is the first step in eliminating them or using them. Here are some of the things weeds do.

  • Protect the soil from erosion
  • Replenish organic matter, and feed and restore soil life
  • Absorb, conserve, and recycle soluble nutrients that would otherwise leach away
  • Absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • Restore biodiversity
  • Provide habitat for insects and animals

BINDWEED (Convolvus) Tight, crusted soil, low humus.

BROOM SEDGE (Andropogon virginicus) Depleted oxidized soil, low in calium and possibly magnesium, poor  soil structure and possible overdose of high-salt fertilizer.

FOXTAIL BARLEY (Hordeum jubatum) Wet soil, possibly high in salts and low in calcium, compacted, possibly acid, unavailable potassium and trace elements.

COMMON BURDOCK (Arctium minus) High iron, acid, low calcium, excess of gypsum, dolomite lime, ammonium sulphate plus lime.

DANDELION (Taraxacum officinale) Low calcium, organic matter not decomposing.

DOCK (Rumex) Wet, acid soils.


CHEAT, CHESS (Bromus secalinus) Wet, compacted, puddled, fine particles, no crumb structure.

CHICKWEED (Stellaria media) High organic matter at surface but low mineral content.

CHICORY (Cichorium intybus) Fairly good soil, clay or heavy soil.

COCKLEBUR (Xanthium pennsylvanicum) Good soil, high phosphorus but low zinc.

CRABGRASS (Digitaria sanguinalis) Tight crusted soil, low calium, inadequate decay of organic matter.

FALL PANICUM (Panicum dichotomiflorum) Anaerobic, compacted soil.

FOXTAIL, GIANT FOXTAIL (Setaria) Tight, wet soil, possible high magnesium, seed germinates in anaerobic conditions.

HORSE NETTLE (Solanum dulcamara) Crusted soil, low humus.

JIMSONWEED (Datura straminium) Improper decomposition of organic matter (Fermentation)

JOHNSON GRASS (Sorghum halepense) Depleted soil, low organic matter, low calcium, possible high iron.

LAMB’S QUARTERS (Chenopodium album) Rich, fertile soul, goo organic matter decay, high humus.

COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca) Good soil, generally grown in fallow areas. Essential for Monarch Butterflies during migration.

MUSTARD (Wild mustard, yellow rocket, wild radish, pepper grass) Crust, hardpan, poor soil structure, poor drainage.

NETTLES, STINGING NETTLE (Urtica) anaerobic, toxic soil, wrong decomposition of organic matter (Fermentation)

PIGWEED, REDROOT (Amaranthus) good soil.

QUACK GRASS (Agropyron repens) Wet anaerobic soil, high aluminum, high magnesium and sodium, low calcium.

RED SORREL, SHEEP SORREL (Rumex acetosella) Acid soil, low calcium, low decomposition.




RUSSIAN THISTLE, TUMBLEWEED (Salosa Kali var, tennifolia) Salty soil, low calcium, low organic matter decomposition.

SMART WEEDS (polygonum) Wet poorly drained soil.

THISTLES (Cirsium) SOWTHISTLE (Sonchus operaceus) Good soil.

VELVET LEAF (Buttonweed)(Albutilon theophrasti) Anaerobic soil, wrong decay of organic matter. (Fermentation)