Weeds are not a particular kind of plant. In nature, they have equal rights with all other representatives of the flora. So they are called those who cares and cherishes vegetables, berries, flowers and fruits. All outside plants in the garden are enemies for them. If you ask any gardener whether weeds are needed in the garden, then everyone will answer - no, and he will be right.
But not so simple. Outside the bed, weeds can not only bring tangible benefits, but also be a remedy for both people and plants. Some of them help to successfully deal with various pests, annoying garden crops. They give signals about the acidity and fertility of the soil. Many can serve as mulch and even fertilizer. In a word, weed plants have many functions. But let's first deal with what harm from them.
What harm do weeds bring to cultivated plants, animals and humans?
- They take food from cultivated species, preventing them from developing. The plants that we call weeds are taught by nature itself to grow without human intervention, ensuring its existence in all possible ways. In terms of water consumption and nutrition, most of them are far ahead of cultivated plants. High weeds, obscuring the cultivated plants, interfere with their photosynthesis process, which may even lead to the death of vegetable plants. Weed control for better living conditions depletes cultural species. According to statistics, crop losses in agriculture due to weeds can reach one-fourth, and with their strong distribution, half and more. Of course, in his personal plot, the gardener will not allow such weeds to be outraged and remove them in time. Remove weeds in the seedling phase. An unbranched root will not sprout. If the root of a weed plant began to branch, the weed must grow.
- They can serve as carriers of dangerous diseases, even if they themselves do not get sick. Firewood and nettle can infect grain with rust. The same wheat grass transports the pathogen of ergot and powdery mildew on cultivated plants. Together with bristles and oats, they infect garden crops with root rot. Solanum tolerates potato cancer, and wild cruciferous plants are sources of downy mildew. Many viruses that infect cultivated plants first appear on the weeds and are transferred from there by sucking insects to vegetables or grains. Pyrei is a weed that is very difficult to remove from the garden. It can even germinate a piece of root 1 cm long. Dig the earth with the help of forks that do not cut the wheat grass into pieces, carefully choosing even small pieces of roots.
- They provide shelter to various pests of garden crops. Bindweed and sow thistle are the place where the winter scoop lays eggs. Its caterpillars feed on plants of the cereal family. They are also struck by flies - Swedish and Hessian, they lay eggs on the roots of grass weeds. Pests of cultivated species of this family breed on wild cruciferous plants: cabbage moths, fleas, cabbage.
- The meadow moth carries out egg-laying on the bindweed and wormwood, and its caterpillars harm many garden crops. Where wheatgrass is always a lot of wireworm, it promotes its reproduction. Even if there are no weeds on the beds, but they run riot in nearby spaces, the pests very easily move to cultivated plants. Mow the grass on the sidelines, along the fences, in the garden, so as not to allow pests to breed.
- Weeds can parasitize on cultivated plants, sucking nutrients from them. This distinguishes dodder and broomrape - parasitic plants.
- Getting into the grass, can cause poisoning in animals. If weed seeds get into the grain, the flour not only loses in taste, but can also become poisonous.
- Wild plants can pereopolyatsya with cultivated species, deteriorating their varietal quality. This phenomenon is observed in cereals and crucifers. When growing cabbage seedlings, make sure that colza, mustard and other wild cruciferous plants do not grow in the vicinity.
- Ambrosia - a weed that causes severe allergic reactions in humans.
This is the behavior of weeds in the fields and garden beds. Of course, there is no place for them. But all these plants are also found on areas not developed by man. Collected there, they can serve a person in good stead.
How to use weeds for the benefit of man and cultivated plants? The use of these plants is very diverse, and the benefits of weeds are not questioned.
- Use for food. Surprisingly, many weeds can be successfully used as food plants. Properly cooked, they are not only healthy, but also tasty. It turns out that snyt can be added to soups and salads, and even sour as cabbage.
- Burdock roots are completely edible, boiled and fried. In Japan, this plant is grown as a cultural, there bred none of its variety. Many cook dishes from the Siberian hogweed. From wheatgrass roots, grinding it in a meat grinder, you can make burgers. Dandelion leaves and young leaves of clover and plantain are added to the salad. A wood louse mixed with other herbs can serve as an excellent filling for pies.
In the leaves of the wild primrose, a record amount of vitamin C, which is very important in the spring, when salads are made from it. Dandelion contains a lot of beta carotene. Well, the soup of the young nettle is just a classic. Even a dessert can be made from weeds, for example, to cook tasty and healthy dandelion jam. Using wild plants for food, remember that collecting them near busy highways is impossible. Plants tend to absorb harmful substances emitted by car exhaust.
- Many weed plants are also medicinal. Their list is very large, and they often cure diseases more effectively than conventional medicines. It is enough to recall the yarrow, dandelion, nettle, clover, coltsfoot, and St. John's wort, which can cure many diseases. The same wheatgrass helps with joint pain, kidney and respiratory diseases. There are plants that help to cope even with oncology. This is hemlock and aconite. A simple burdock is an excellent preventive measure against oncological diseases. The rubber molecules contained in its roots resemble cancer cells. Once in the human body, they force it to produce special immune cells for its destruction. At the same time, all other atypical cells, including cancer cells, are also destroyed.
Japan is famous for its nutrition programs, in which a lot of burdock consumption is given. No wonder the Japanese - the healthiest nation in the world. Even the best medicinal plants have contraindications for their use. Consider it, going to use phytotherapy.
- Even on the beds of them can be good. Weeded in time and folded into a compost pile, they will be invaluable to gardeners, who with their help will enrich the soil with organic matter and many useful substances. Most of the plants are rich in nitrogen, dandelion and sorrel leaves contain a lot of phosphorus, and chamomile, yarrow and nettle are sources of potassium. Horsetail will enrich the compost with silicon. There are trace elements in the weeds. If the cultivated plants have already gained strength, weed control, especially annual ones, can be slightly weakened. Covering the soil with a green carpet, they protect it from overheating. Left for the winter, they will enrich the soil with organic matter, their dead roots will become food for earthworms. Do not let the plants left on the beds be inseminated, so that next season you will not have to fight them with double strength.
- The rich mineral composition of weeds allows you to prepare from them a very useful fertilizer for garden plants. The richer the herbal composition of this fertilizer, the more benefit will be for garden crops. The technology of its preparation is very simple. The на tank is filled with chopped greens and filled with water. During fermentation, water is enriched with nutrients. After a week, the solution can be used for feeding, diluting it ten times with water. This green elixir is not suitable only for onions and garlic. All other garden plants respond to such supplementation with enhanced growth. For the preparation of this fertilizer can not use metal utensils. An undesirable oxidation process may occur in it.
- Weeds also help in pest control. Phytoncides containing plants such as wormwood, tansy, dandelion serve as natural insecticides in the fight against leaf-eating insects, mites and many other pests. Broths and infusions of them are soft and effective means. Unlike chemicals, natural are safe for humans, so their use is preferable.
- Weeds can be indicators that signal the condition of the soil. Horsetail, goose cinquefoil, three-horned violet, buttercup say that the soil is too acidic and it is time to chill. If white potato has settled in large quantities on potato allotment, the plot is exhausted, and it is time to change it. If there is a lot of chamomile in the garden, the soil is too dense and needs to be loosened more often. And the spread of cruciferous weeds indicates an excess of potassium in the soil.
- Weeds can also perform another very important function for gardeners: one can create an excellent mulch layer that will help reduce the number of irrigations, prevent the soil from overheating, increase its fertility. There are plants whose mulch can prevent plant diseases. For example, a layer of nettles under the tomatoes will be a prophylactic against phytophthora.
It is impossible to use for mulching the weeds that have already got seeds, otherwise you can disperse them by hand with your own hands in the garden.
There is nothing superfluous in nature. Weeds have the same right to exist as cultural species. But to maintain a balance between the number of different plants is a human matter.