Have you just weed in the garden?? Part 2


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Have you just weed in the garden??

Part 2

A small note first, my thanks to those of you who have emailed me recently regarding the second Season of Doin’ The Dirt and requested topics to be addressed. In the next few weeks l will be addressing the ‘5,10,15 Kitchen Herbs guide’ and also composting.  Only today  Patti Moore Wilson of Wednesday’s Child asked about hot composting and composting in small spaces, so l will address that also, however if there are topics you would like to see covered also, please do feel free to drop me a comment below.

Okay, yesterday we looked at the first six weeds, that had uses to them and they were not just nightmarish and invasive creepers needing to be dealt with as sharply as some might have thought. Weeds do have uses and a lot of people may not know that many plants we have today bordering the roadsides were once grown specifically as an edible  – l can think of three at the top of my head such as wild Mustard, Charlock and Keck or otherwise known as Cows Parsley – known as wild food – but these can still be foraged today and eaten, as can many of the weeds we discuss. So if you ever found yourself stuck out in the middle of nowhere and had no other alternatives you might find yourself in a position where you had no other options.

Of course, don’t go into your garden and start chomping away now l am NOT advising that, l found a foraging course very instructive and informative, it just serves as additional information and does help you in a gardening role as well.

Some weeds should be encouraged to grow in the garden as they can protect the soil and fertilise it, they can condition the soil and more importantly that can attract some really needed insects to the garden.




Broadleaf Plantain

IMG_0043 (2)

Ribwort Plantain – Own Image


Forget Me Not


Garlic Mustard


Common Mallow


Have you just weed in the garden?? Part 2


This was really popular with both the rabbits and the guinea pigs they could eat this forever, you have to be careful as it can hold quite a bit of water to its overall % of content and it can cause stomach upset. However, with regards poultry – chickens and the such like will demolish yards of the stuff, they simply cannot get enough!

As to human consumption, this makes for excellent and cooling ingredients to a summer salad, and l know a few vegetable gardeners that not only encourage this weed in their garden but grow it as a crop.

Yes, you have guessed it, you can also make Chickweed Tea.

This is as a weed a very beneficial weed to encourage growth wise in your garden, it can act as a living mulch as we discussed in Part 1, but as l discussed above certain weeds will do your garden no harm what so ever. Chickweed is one such weed. It was many years ago in ancient times grown as a pot herb, need l say more.

Broadleaf Plantain

This is also a weed that if you have it in your garden is really not that bad an issue, it is one of the good weeds. Just allow the plant to grow and die off naturally and it will enrich the soil.

Also you can eat the plant in its entirety, although l would personally suggest to do so when the plants are younger and the leaves are tender. You can eat the leaves raw or you can cook them, that choice is yours they are great in salads, but equally serve up well if pan fried in some olive oil and yes you can make a Plantain Tea from it.

It grows in abundance around here, but do NOT use plants directly from the roadside as this will be poisoned by traffic fumes.

Ribwort Plantain

You can eat this, l have and added it to both stir fry in the past, as well as to soups and just as a hot spinach like vegetable. You can of course also use it in salads, but do make sure that the leaves are young and tender as older leaves are somewhat bitter.

It also has medicinal properties – see LINK

Forget Me Not

We have a lot of this charming little blue flowering weed growing in the garden here, and the bees love it, it’s great for other beneficial insects as well. It’s the flower itself that is the edible part, just the ideal snack!  However, as said before plunging in to the deep end, a foraging course might be a first move.

Many gardeners kill the forget me not as soon as look at it, the seeds in the soil can stay active for 30 years or so, and many consider it too invasive.

Quick Forget Me Not Guide

Garlic Mustard

This can be used in both salads as well as great flavouring, in fact l have used it when cooking fish and it adds as you can imagine a really lovely flavour to the flesh. We usually have some growing in the back of the garden later summer months. Check this LINK out.

Common Mallow

We have Mallow grow both in our garden and it surrounds us here in the countryside as well, a beautiful flower, and yet still a weed, a countryside weed. Although in ancient times this was grown as a herb and in truth you can still buy this as a herb from specialist seed sellers.

The plant is totally edible flowers and leaves alike with the latter being great as a lettuce type leaf. You can even chew on the root to aid dental hygiene!

It has healing properties, medicinal properties, you can dry the leaves and yes, you can Mallow Tea. It can be used in the beauty side of life as well. It has a lot of uses, combined with the fact that the flower is pretty.

Mallow is superb for the pollinators and can be easily grown in your Gardens too.

So there we go folks, part 2 – l still maintain that weeds certainly have their uses. Part 3 tomorrow.

10 thoughts on “Have you just weed in the garden?? Part 2

      1. Ha ha – it’s funny how many pro gardeners l meet and try to hire to weed our own garden and especially when we are short of time, and they all say “err, no, you need a weeder l am a gardener, you know l garden, but weeders – well they weed!”

        1. Haha. Don’t get me wrong, I do what the customer needs but I’d much prefer to digging a trench or cutting down trees than weeding. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to come out and help me on jobs and do alllllllllll the weeding haha.

  1. When we have visitors at the farm I always point out broad leaf plantain and tell them if you get stung by a bee grab a leaf from this plant – crush it and rub it on the area. This will take the pain away. Depending on how one reacts to stings they still may swell up later (I do) but it takes the immediate pain away. I also infuse plantain leaves into oil the make it into a balm. I usually carry one incase of stings.
    Our chickens also love to eat plantain.

    1. Hey Ruth, absolutely you are quite right it does have some excellent salve properties and works pretty much the same way as dock leaf 🙂

      Chickens adore both types of plantain especially the heads, when l had chickens a few things used to disappear fast, dandelions, chickweed, groundsel, shepherds purse and the plantains heads 🙂

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