TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The definition of weed is a plant that grows anywhere that you don’t want it to grow.
For most of us that includes in the garden and on the lawn. While it might be tempting to level the grass anytime you find the dandelions. It may leave your grass vulnerable to more aggressive weeds according to Rose-Hulman Biologist Peter Coppinger.
“Most of these weeds grow very quickly, faster than the grass grows,” said Coppinger. “You’ve got to think about what you’re doing. They’re competing for sunlight, they’re competing for water, and they’re competing for nutrients. they’re really well adapted at harvesting those resources faster than the grass.”
Experts say leaving your grass around 3.5″ can help protect the root system from weeds.
Some of the most common weeds across valley lawns include: speedwell, dead-nettle, dandelions, and chickweed.
Coppinger says that chickweed can be the most detrimental to your manicured lawn.
“In terms of the notorious plants sucking up nutrients, chickweed is a really bad one for that,” urged Coppinger. “Especially in agricultural areas and gardens.”
It is better to pull the weeds rather than spread them with your mower, but you should think twice before using any of them as compost.
“What are you going to do with a compost pile?,” asked Coppinger. “You’re going to dig it up and put it back into your gardens. These seeds can last for years. What you want to do is you just want to remove them, burn them, get them out of your yard.”
A few people even choose to eat select garden weeds in teas and salads, but you should never do this without consulting a gardening or plant expert first.
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