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:Garden Class.


By marge


Todays subject was WEEDS.
What is a weed? A plant in the wrong place.
Weed is an anglo saxon word, which means herb. They are usually ancient plants. This tells you the original use of weeds.
Weeds all have different lifestyles, generation methods and seed producing types. Weeds also can tell you a lot about you soil conitions, because of which weeds grow there. Weeds also act a cover to protect the soil.
Moss, Liverwort and Lungwort all grow in damp conitions. Moss tells you it is acid soil.
If you have Clover and Bittercress tell you it is alkaline soil.
Dandylion grow in non specific soils.
Dandylion attracts insects, will act as an accelerator in the compost bin.
In humans, it acts as a dureretic (nick name, wet the bed). In the distant past it was used for bookbinding, as it works as an insectecide. Dandylions have a long tap root, which can be used to make herb teas, and can be mixed with chicory to make a herb coffee. Don;t let the dandylion flower or produce seeds.
Daisy, also grows in non specific areas, has its low growing shape to protct itself from grazing animals.
Nettles grow where nitrogen is present. They assist with Rhumatism and Arthritis. Stinging nettles can act as an activator for compost bins. It is a good plant for encouraging wild life. The “dead” nettle, white and mauve varieties are a good ground cover.
Clover and Bittercress grow in Alkaline soils.
Scarlet Pimpernel can forcast the weather, it closes up when rain is imminent.
Orange Hawkweed is a dandylion type plant (yellow variety) and is now coming into garden use, on sale in garden centres.
Brambles, have self rooting stems. Good for wild life, you can get a cultivated blackberry without thorns.
Herb Robert, is a wild geranium, sends out runners, good for wildlife.
Couch grass is a pernicious weed, like Bindweed is difficult to erradicate.
Greater Celandine, from the poppy family, May to October flowering season, likes limey soil.
Three types of weed: Annual, Perenial and BiAnnuals.
A 4th type Ephemerals = have a short life cycle, and go through their lifecycle quickly i.e., Bittercress and groundsel.
Horsetail = A plant dating back to the Carboniferous period – coal measures.
Weed killers act by “disturbing” the plant systemically, but do not work on the Horsetail, which lives in damp and acid conditions. It reproduces by means of underground runners. Now you can discourage it by repeatedly cutting out it’s growing tips.
Weeds can be good when added to your compost bin, but chop up the roots first.
Either pull out, or hoe regularly the shallow rooted weeds, on a dry day. Every 7 to 10 days. Do not allow them to seed. Poppy seeds can stay dormant in the ground for 25 – 30 years, in the past it was not realised they could be dormant for so long.
Remember, “Todays’ weeds, tommorrows seeds”. You can make weeds work for you, if you have an uncultivated part, that you will be cultivating in the future, check it regularly to see what weeds are there, it is an indicator of the soil type and condition.
You could plant potato, these encourage soil ceanliness and cultivation.Followed by frequent digging.
Cover with mulch to help to prevent weeds.
Frost can kill some weeds if the temperature drops below 4 degrees for 4 days.

Recommended Weedkillers Glyphosate = a Systemic killer, nearly organic because it biodegrades in the soil. Can be used on tough weeds, chop Horsetails tops off first. Works in approx 3 weeks. Use when growing season starts. Not effective when soil is cold.
Strong Weed killers, Tumble Weed. Round up. Deep root and Root out.

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i don't mind weeds that you can pull or gently dig up..
it's the likes of BIND WEED that get me. no matter how maticulous you are, you might win the battle but never the war. take your eyes off it in july and august and its off again. this year it took over a pear tree in our orchard...i spent so much time digging it out in other peoples garden that it took over parts of mine...but i'm determined to get the better of it in the

15 Nov, 2008


I always let a weed with a pretty flower express itself before I pull it.

16 Nov, 2008


Hi Sandra, I got bindweed in the front garden, it has invaded the Fuchcia, which is one of the reasons its coming out. The Fuchcia is so big and dense I couldn't get in to get the bindweed out.

We will grass the area over, and hopefully the bindweed will disappear because of the constant mowing. That's the thinking behind our efforts.

Hi Ams, it was my mums' little joke, she always admired dandylions growing in peoples gardens. When they said "but its a weed", she always said, "its a beautiful flower".

Love Marge.

16 Nov, 2008


You have interesting classes.
I'm going to sew wildflower seeds in my garden next yr so I suppose I'll be encouraging weeds to grow there. But they will only be allowed where I want them.

16 Nov, 2008


Beware orange Hawkweek - striking but incredibly invasive by runners and seed. Give me a Dandelion any day!

17 Nov, 2008


Hi Hywel, they were all wild flowers once. It doesn't matter what they are, every one of them is colourful and interesting.

Hi Wagger, thanks for your comment.

Love Marge

17 Nov, 2008


my policy is keep the weeds smaller than the plants. i love daisys, celendine, and clover under my shrubs as they keep the others at bay.

18 Nov, 2008


Hi Sandra, that's a good idea. Thanks

18 Nov, 2008

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