Weeds as Indicator Plants

Weed: A wild plant growing where it is not wanted in competition with cultivated plants.

Battling weeds (or harvesting them from our gardens) is something we all go through as gardeners.  I remember last summer spending hours and hours weeding my garden just to get to do it all over again in a couple of days. It has always been a chore.

This morning I happened across an article on The Old Farmer’s Almanac entitled Weeds As Indicator Plants. Of course this caught my interest and after reading the article, I have to say my perspective on weeds has changed.

Essentially, the article discusses how you can tell how your soil is doing based on the types of weeds that grow it. If you have rich soil, high in nitrogen, you’re more likely to see Amaranth growing versus if you have dry, sandy soil depleted of nutrients and low in calcium, you are more likely to have Sheep sorrel growing. It makes completely sense.

I never thought to pay attention to those weeds and I never thought I would be looking forward to seeing them.

Do you use this technique?


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