Lawn Care Tips

As a lawn care provider for 20+ years, my aim here is to provide some helpful hints, tips and advice to those who want to increase the health and appearance of the lawn they care for. Whether you are new to lawn care or an old hand, you will find information here that will save you time, money and wasted effort. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Defining A Weed

One day over 20 years ago when I was studying horticulture, the professor announced he would be defining the term “weed” that day. His definition was very simple and I have never forgotten it. He said, “A weed is any plant out of place.”

There are some interesting implications with this definition. Most people consider dandelions weeds and yet there are many people who cultivate dandelions intentionally to be used as food or in medical preparations. The people who do this would never consider their crop “weeds”. Another example is clover. Many homeowners go to great lengths in order to rid their lawn of any trace of clover. On the other hand, there are a growing number of homeowners who intentionally scatter clover seed into their lawns. So one homeowner considers clover a weed and another considers clover to be a great way of naturally increasing the nitrogen content in their lawn’s soil.

There is another way to consider the above definition of a weed. Many gardeners commonly plant violets in their flower beds. It’s a very attractive plant with a very showy flower. Unfortunately, violets are very invasive and once they start growing in a lawn they can be very difficult to get rid of. So the question is, are violets a flower or a weed? I believe the answer is written in the first paragraph. It is only a weed if it is growing where it is unwanted, if it is out of place.

There are many plants that, depending on where they are growing, could be considered a desirable plant or they could be considered a weed. There are far too many plants to mention here that could easily fit into either of these two categories, but a few that you may be familiar with include: Wild Garlic, Queen Anne’s Lace and Ferns.

The bottom line here is that any plant growing in your lawn that you don’t want to see growing in your lawn is a weed. By the same token, if Kentucky Bluegrass has crept into your flower garden then even Kentucky Bluegrass has become a weed.

NEXT TIME: Dealing With Grass When It Becomes A Weed


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