Why I don’t remove broadleaf weeds from my garden

Laziness is certainly partly to blame.

Curiosity is where the remainder of the blame lies. My knowledge of identifying trees and their scientific names is excessive; bordering on obnoxious by the opinions of friends with whom I share outdoor adventures. My skills with identifying herbaceous plants are weak but as I am actively working to improve, each of these plants offers a learning opportunity. So I generally let them go.

Side Note: my skills on identifying grasses are all but nonexistent.

In addition, most of my garden beds are fallow and contain animal manure/bedding. Root action of any kind alleviates my concerns that the beds have not composted enough to be cultivated by next spring. I certainly remove any weeds that interfere with my garden plantings. To be fair, I will probably be less generous to the weeds once my soil is ready to be cultivated fully.

Most broadleaf weeds are annuals thus not presenting much of a threat to the garden. Some of them, like false strawberry, are biennials. However the one thing they have in common is providing nectar and/or pollen to pollinators, both the native and my honeybees. Along these lines, they attract the pollinators to my crops!

This last point can be coupled with the one on curiosity- with my biological approach to farming, any one of those weeds may possess characteristics that make it a valuable tool as I found out with the unexpected Savior from Japanese Beetle Destruction.


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