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In defence of weeds

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  • May 25th, 2020 2:39 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 12, 2019
25 posts
54 upvotes

In defence of weeds

I was looking at my lawn full of weeds yesterday and I was struck at how nice I thought it looked. We are so damn conditioned that lawns must be perfect green grass and nothing else and most of us don't even know why. We just do it because it's a suburban norm, everyone else does it so we must do it also. This forum is rife with threads about killing weeds, using chemicals that destroy the environment, it is sad.

You see, what struck me more than thinking it looked nice, was that my lawn of weeds was teeming with life. There were bumblebees, others kinds of bees, bugs I couldn't even name, all rummaging around doing their thing, enhancing the ecosystem and biodiversity. I don't even know what the purple flowered thing in the grass is but it was a major hit with the bees.

Contrast that with what most people try to achieve on this forum and that is basically nothingness. Monoculture of green grass, no bugs, no diversity, just ecosystem destroying nothingness...maybe you'll see a worm under it all.

Anyways, that's my defence of weeds. There's enough threads about destroying them to last into eternity.
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9 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
15637 posts
16780 upvotes
Oakville
MrDurka wrote: I was looking at my lawn full of weeds yesterday and I was struck at how nice I thought it looked. We are so damn conditioned that lawns must be perfect green grass and nothing else and most of us don't even know why. We just do it because it's a suburban norm, everyone else does it so we must do it also. This forum is rife with threads about killing weeds, using chemicals that destroy the environment, it is sad.

You see, what struck me more than thinking it looked nice, was that my lawn of weeds was teeming with life. There were bumblebees, others kinds of bees, bugs I couldn't even name, all rummaging around doing their thing, enhancing the ecosystem and biodiversity. I don't even know what the purple flowered thing in the grass is but it was a major hit with the bees.

Contrast that with what most people try to achieve on this forum and that is basically nothingness. Monoculture of green grass, no bugs, no diversity, just ecosystem destroying nothingness...maybe you'll see a worm under it all.

Anyways, that's my defence of weeds. There's enough threads about destroying them to last into eternity.
Yea I don't care too much about my lawn. The bees love the clover and I only pull out spiky or invasive weeds. I do take a bit better care next to my neighbour's lawn, just to be a little nice to their de-weeding efforts.
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
2764 posts
1045 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Trying to come to grips with liking the flower weeds. Bees like 'em so I have to as well.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 12, 2019
25 posts
54 upvotes
engineered wrote: Yea I don't care too much about my lawn. The bees love the clover and I only pull out spiky or invasive weeds. I do take a bit better care next to my neighbour's lawn, just to be a little nice to their de-weeding efforts.
I can understand things that are hard on the feet for sure. Other than that it just seems like a complete waste of time, all in an effort to see who can be the best at conforming.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
15637 posts
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Oakville
MrDurka wrote: I can understand things that are hard on the feet for sure. Other than that it just seems like a complete waste of time, all in an effort to see who can be the best at conforming.
Yea, it's mostly about a show of wealth. You can afford to spend money on your lawn, pay someone to take care of it, or have the leisure time to do it. Mostly it's the retirees around me that don't have anything better to do.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9229 posts
3562 upvotes
There are people in TO ripping out lawns in favour of outdoor carpet. Pretty horrifying.

I still love a flowering lawn, even though I have stepped on a bee in bare feet a few times...violets, johnny jump-ups, bluebells in the spring and all the chickweed and dandelions you can handle (some birds eat them and if you ever keep a canary, they adore them).

There is no room for pesticide, herbicide and all of that when you have your pets and kids rolling all over the lawn. It seems like anyone with an all-grass lawn never takes the time to make skin contact with the grass they own. I guess that's how some come to see carpet as fully equivalent? Sad.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4143 posts
2929 upvotes
Funny part is that grass is weed too. OP I agree with everything you said even though I try to maintain a "nice" lawn in the backyard - I don't mind weeds that much but I have a huge bare patches where the soil has turned into sand, which I think was due to insect infestation. At any rate, I am overseeding to help control the weeds but I don't use chemicals, I'll hand-pick weeds - I look at it as exercise, not a chore. I haven't gotten on clover bandwagon yet but if I can't fix my lawn with overseeding by next spring - I'm going to try clover. I removed my front lawn and replaced it with a native perennial garden, pollinator friendly.
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2017
1244 posts
1295 upvotes
West GTA
A weed is just a term for an unwanted plant. If you like those plants there, they aren’t weeds to you. Noxious weeds are a bit different as they will destroy native ecosystems or pose a danger directly. If you’re letting garlic mustard, poison hemlock, English ivy etc run wild on your property, you suck.

It is very possible to have a grass-only lawn and still support ecosystems. I have a mid-sized lawn without many weeds in it, no chemicals used at this point. The grass is lush and pleasant to walk on. There is a level and even surface for playing on. Grass has the highest traffic resistance of any plant ground cover, making it pleasant as a used space.

I also have a large border garden filled with flowering plants, many of them native to the area. Bees love my place as well, and I get to have a nice lawn too.

I won’t get mad at anyone for maintaining their property as they wish, provided they are respectful of surrounding properties and their stewardship of their property for future generations. If you like dandelions and other stuff in your lawn, go wild. Just try not to have it mess with the neighbours! If you want to plant more stuff for bees to eat, have fun.
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Sep 8, 2007
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Way Out of GTA
You can pretend the weeds are your kids!
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Mar 30, 2006
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TORONTO
grumble wrote: A weed is just a term for an unwanted plant. If you like those plants there, they aren’t weeds to you. Noxious weeds are a bit different as they will destroy native ecosystems or pose a danger directly. If you’re letting garlic mustard, poison hemlock, English ivy etc run wild on your property, you suck.
Well said, especially the bolded.

I have a butterfly garden along bird feeders, hummingbird feeders and even one for squirrels. But my lawn is fairly weed free and I let my neighbors and others grow 'em.

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