Here Come the Weeds: Five Ways Weeds Bring Benefits to Your Lawn and Garden

Here Come the Weeds: Five Ways Weeds Bring Benefits to Your Lawn and Garden

Weeds play an essential role in stimulating soil in lawns after winter dormancy has fully set in. They help to bring vital nutrients to the surface and loosen the soil, allowing air and water to penetrate more easily. This is especially important in the South, where soils are often full of clay or become compacted and need help to become more porous and healthy.  Weeds are a volunteer army working to improve your soil for FREE.  

So, when you see those little green shoots popping up all over your lawn in Spring, don't panic and start pulling them out or even worse, blanketing your home with toxic chemicals.  Instead, take a moment to appreciate the benefits they bring and understand what they can do for you.

Here are five ways that weeds are extremely beneficial to the lawn in Spring:

  1. They make the lawn greener: As mentioned earlier, weeds bring vital nutrients to the surface of the soil, which can help to make your lawn look greener and healthier. This is especially important in Spring when grass is still waking up from its winter dormancy and hasn't had time to fully absorb all the nutrients it needs to thrive.  You want a green lawn right?

  2. They help to prevent erosion: Weeds have deep roots that help to hold soil in place and prevent erosion. This is particularly important in areas where heavy rain or wind can cause soil to wash away.  Spring brings with it heavy rains and the weed army is on your side holding your precious soil in place.  

  3. They provide habitat for beneficial insects: Many weeds are actually beneficial to the environment because they provide habitat and food for beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. These insects, in turn, help to pollinate plants and control pests, making your lawn healthier and more sustainable.

  4. They can be used to make compost: Weeds can be a great addition to your compost pile, providing valuable organic matter and a nitrogen source that can help to enrich your soil and make it more fertile.

  5. They can be a natural indicator of soil health: Some weeds are actually indicators of soil health, and can tell you whether your lawn needs more or less of certain nutrients. For example, dandelions thrive in soil that is rich in nitrogen, while clover does well in soil that is lacking in nitrogen.

Of course, there are times when it may be necessary to remove weeds from your lawn, such as when they are choking out the grass or posing a safety hazard. Crabgrass is best when manually removed.  Trying to beat them with chemistry is a fools errand and will only cost you in the long run. 

Spring is an excellent time to consider conditioning your soil.  The first step in soil conditioning is raking the dead leaves and grass out.  This simple act can provide needed sunlight, air and moisture to the root zone of your lawn at the most crucial time of year.  Once you have opened up your soil you should now apply some soil foods to it aimed at improving porosity and water retention.  Our best products for this are MicroLife Humates Plus 0-0-4 found in our Spring Grass Combo as well as Nature's Way Resources Leaf Mold Compost.  These two additions provide your soil with a natural boost of humous, carbon, beneficial organisms, minerals and micronutrients.  These safe and all natural products can help to promote healthy soil and encourage grass growth, while also providing a natural defense against weeds.

Spring weeds may not be the most attractive addition to your lawn, but they are an important part of the ecosystem and can bring many benefits. So, the next time you see those little green shoots popping up all over your lawn, take a moment to appreciate their value and consider leaving them be. Your lawn - and the Earth- will thank you for it.

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