This post is dedicated to Tatiana of mycoldprairie, who commented on my last post regarding the purpose of weeds.
Well, there are multiple purposes, actually. I want to first point out that exotic invasive weeds, to me personally, have no other purpose than to rape native lands of nutrients, water, and space and to destroy balanced ecosystems (guess what’s in my yard and why I’m grumpy). BUT, speaking of native weeds in particular, they legitimately have a purpose in their habitat, and as many will point out, there’s not really any such thing as a weed, anyway, other than being an annoying plant to a gardener.
What was mentioned in class last night was that weeds grow first in poor soil, and over time as they die off and decompose, they make the soil more fertile for other plants to move in and establish. True indeed. But weeds also can be valuable food sources for wildlife, through seeds, nectar, leaves, berries, and whatnot. They can serve as erosion control and as shelter to birds, lizards, and other creatures. Some even have medicinal value or food value to humans! They do have their purpose, even if you’d prefer they not be in your yard. Speaking of which, did I really manage to not get any dandelions this year? I guess they were scared off by the rampant evil nutsedge that has found its way into my yard. It has become the bane of my gardening existence. But it too has a purpose — apparently Canadian geese and ducks and squirrels and other wildlife like it. Guess I’m not wild enough to join them in such fondness for the WEED.
Oh, and weeds are also there apparently to teach Tatiana patience. She said it, not me!