Home & Garden

Are weeds natural, and should we be removing it?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 16th, 2015 12:09 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 31, 2012
631 posts
45 upvotes
SCARBOROUGH

Are weeds natural, and should we be removing it?

Are weeds a natural part of Canada's ecosystem? Every time I pull one up, there are two that replace it. It seems like nature is against us. We spend time, money, resources (spray chemicals) to get rid of it. Should we be doing this, or is this just a part or Canada's natural landscape? Should we just let the weeds win, and stop fighting an endless battle?

California have a drought problem now, and they are saying that the state might start to look like a desert (Arizona) in the future because they won't allow watering of lawns. They are also encouraging people to replace their lawn with native plants.

I know that if I let the weeds grow on my property the entire neighborhood would complain, just wanted to get people's opinion.
20 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
2737 upvotes
ON
It's all perspective.
The difference between a weed and a wildflower is one we want, the other we don't.
Find 'weeds' that you like, and let them take over and choke out the ones you don't.

My parents neighbour has essentially her whole front yard as wildflower gardens and it looks great.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 26, 2008
2474 posts
170 upvotes
Weeds are as natural as a female with hairy legs. Both are unsightly if you ask me but whatever floats your boat.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2015
1147 posts
530 upvotes
York Region
The lawn industry is massive. They have successfully brainwashed the suburbanites, myself included. I got rid of grass on one side on my house.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12855 posts
2959 upvotes
Toronto
bacalhau4me wrote: The lawn industry is massive. They have successfully brainwashed the suburbanites, myself included. I got rid of grass on one side on my house.
I agree. Though I will say, some of those 'weeds' are prickly so they just make me mad!
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13306 posts
741 upvotes
Depends on what you mean by weed. Personally I love having clover in the lawn...some would call it a weed. I actually purposely spread clover seed on my lawn. Years ago, clover was common in grass seed. It fixes nitrogen, doesn't need as much water....and I love the colour.

Now, I don't have any issue with grass...problem is that people want grass that is not native and as such have to feed and water more than native species. Just doesn't make sense.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
9139 posts
2045 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
What I find interesting is when you look at a fallow field, no matter what time of the summer, there is always color. Something is always in bloom. Yet people struggle to get flowers for the whole season.

Now for a lawn, if it is filled in with grass, clover and some other lush weeds, that is fine. But something like thistles just doesn't work. And, many weeds need less water, less mowing and care, which means more time for me to enjoy the yard.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 11, 2008
5754 posts
475 upvotes
How about gout weed? They are really nice to look at, but a pain to remove.
Deal Addict
Mar 29, 2015
1999 posts
154 upvotes
Wood Bridge
im alergic to many of them, so removing them helps me be at ease when I sit in the backyard
Sr. Member
Jan 24, 2015
529 posts
86 upvotes
Oakville, ON
nalababe wrote: Depends on what you mean by weed. Personally I love having clover in the lawn...some would call it a weed. I actually purposely spread clover seed on my lawn. Years ago, clover was common in grass seed. It fixes nitrogen, doesn't need as much water....and I love the colour.

Now, I don't have any issue with grass...problem is that people want grass that is not native and as such have to feed and water more than native species. Just doesn't make sense.
but will clover choke up the grass and take over the whole lawn?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
27049 posts
11487 upvotes
Socially Distanced
Most weeds look like grass when mowed so as much as i don't like them there is not much harm done. Dandelions are an exception, they grow pretty quickly and look ugly. I inherited a lawn thats more weeds then grass so unless i want to pull weeds as a full time job 8 hours a day 7 days a week i will never get rid of them all
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Moderator
May 28, 2012
12053 posts
4680 upvotes
Saskatoon
Quentin5 wrote: Most weeds look like grass when mowed so as much as i don't like them there is not much harm done. Dandelions are an exception, they grow pretty quickly and look ugly. I inherited a lawn thats more weeds then grass so unless i want to pull weeds as a full time job 8 hours a day 7 days a week i will never get rid of them all
I have several notched dandelion weeders...I leave them all over the garden. I weed in small allotments so I'm not overwhelmed by it all. If you work at it slowly, and don't let the weeds go to seed...you will steadily improve your lawn. I have access to all the strong herbicides but I hardly ever use them because I can manage what is there with manual weeding.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
27049 posts
11487 upvotes
Socially Distanced
Can you link to one, i pull them by hand and sometimes get foot long roots (last week i was getting 75% by the root, today about 50%), but its a lot of work trying to do this hours at a time.

Compared to last year i do notice less weeds, but going from 10 million to 9 million still leaves a lot to do :(
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Member
Apr 28, 2014
289 posts
162 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
One year's seeding is seven years' weeding... Just stay on top of them and don't let them go to seed too often, and eventually the situation will improve.

As others have alluded to, a weed is in the eye of the beholder. A lot of plants are useful in some situations for their vigorous growth. If they happen to be located somewhere where they're not desired, that same quality means it's in effect a weed regardless of its other characteristics.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
27049 posts
11487 upvotes
Socially Distanced
SouthOnt wrote: One year's seeding is seven years' weeding... Just stay on top of them and don't let them go to seed too often, and eventually the situation will improve.

As others have alluded to, a weed is in the eye of the beholder. A lot of plants are useful in some situations for their vigorous growth. If they happen to be located somewhere where they're not desired, that same quality means it's in effect a weed regardless of its other characteristics.
Lilies with spaghetti and meatball roots (that weigh 50lbs or more per full yard waste bag) and chinese lantern have coloured my opinions :(
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 31, 2011
2715 posts
968 upvotes
Yellowknife
dandelion -- can find the leaves in the store and can use for salad
dandelion tea -- a natural diuretic that lowers blood pressure
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
9139 posts
2045 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
coupondiva2012 wrote: dandelion -- can find the leaves in the store and can use for salad
dandelion tea -- a natural diuretic that lowers blood pressure
I can feed our family for the summer on our yard.
Deal Guru
Mar 14, 2005
13811 posts
2504 upvotes
Drink coffee if you want a diuretic. And then, save your pee and dilute it, and pour it on your lawn to turn it green with nitrogen.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 12, 2010
6103 posts
649 upvotes
SW Ontario
ChristineY wrote: but will clover choke up the grass and take over the whole lawn?
Doesn't seem to.

I tried to convert my lawn to cover entirely. Doesn't need water (stays green throughout a drought) , grows slower than grass so less mowing, and is softer. Plus the bunnies like to snack on it!

Our lawn is just too big to do it by hand so I gave up at the moment, but I tried to kill off as much grass in some areas as I could and planted clover, but much of the grass has survived and come back. So now it's a mix. Which is fine as well.

I never plant any grass seed. Just overseed with clover seeds to fill in where I need too. My hope is one day there will be no grass.

The white flowers look nice too.

If I ever get the resources to strip the grass off our whole lawn and start fresh I'd love to plan clover (or micro clover needs even less cutting)
Deal Addict
Sep 7, 2007
1544 posts
343 upvotes
Canada
don242 wrote: I can feed our family for the summer on our yard.
They call it the "urban salad" seen it around where I live. Not for me.. but with places banning pesticides its something people are doing now.

Top