Weeds, Wonderful Weeds

With water, sunshine and good soil, our plants have been growing beautifully. In fact, we have already harvested our first radishes!

The intended food plants aren’t the only ones thriving. A trio of weeds have been very successful as well. With my limited prior knowledge, I had no idea what they were. Some online research helped me identify the first two, but the third is still unknown. If anyone knows what it is, please leave us a comment to fulfill our curiosity.

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So what do we do about the weeds? Well, as you can guess, herbicides are off the table. We could just let them grow, but they grow fast and subsequently choke off our desired food plants. Simple, hand weeding is what we’ve done so far. The purslane and lamb’s quarters are easy to remove individually, but tedious in large volume. The unknown weed is more difficult with its long, entrenched taproot and removing it entirely puts the surrounding crops at risk due to disturbance of the soil. We also learned that mulching may be a good option for weed control.

One other thing – I have learned that both the purslane and lamb’s quarters are edible. Using weeds as food makes sense from a permaculture perspective so I did try the purslane (with scrambled eggs). I enjoyed it, but perhaps due to the novelty more than its taste. To be honest, I haven’t made the effort again. However, it is good to know the option is available. I am amazed by what I have learned from actually starting to grow stuff!

Written by Josh Morel

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  • Ellen Mably

    Good for you for trying purslane (I didn’t have that much of it where I had a reliable garden, but I used to eat lamb’s quarters. They’re fiddly to wash, but steamed/boiled are similar to spinach.

  • Josh

    I confirmed the third weed is bindweed. Here is a tip on dealing with this weed: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/weeds/p/Bindweed.htm