DIY | Did You Know

9 Common Weeds That Are Actually Useful In Your Garden

Garden Therapy / Herb Federation of NZ

Right when spring comes around, we're ready to wage war on the weeds in our garden.

We spend all summer fighting them, and when fall comes around, we're exhausted. We hope that by some miracle they won't appear next year, but they always do.

The truth is, some of these ugly ducklings on our lawn are actually good for not only the soil, but our health.

Here are nine common weeds that should grow freely on your land.

1. Clovers

Whether your clover is red or white, don't pull them out just yet!

These white blooms usually show up in gardens that are dry and lack nitrogen.

They add more nitrogen in the soil, which is necessary for plant growth, so these white clovers are actually doing you a favor by helping out your other beautiful plants stay healthy.

Red clovers are also great for your lawn, and yourself!

These weeds have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. People brew these clovers to control symptoms of menopause.

Clovers also attract pollinators, like ladybugs and honeybees, which help with fertilization.

2. Broadleaf Plantain

I get it, these weeds look awful in your garden. I used to pull and throw them out all the time, but there's actually a way to make use of them.

Believe it or not, broadleaf plantains can be used for food and medicine.

They're super rich in protein and taste great when cooked.

If you ever get stung by a bee, crush this edible plant's leaves and rub it on the affected area.

3. Dandelion

My mother was fed up with tending to her lawn after countless failed attempts at removing dandelions.

These weeds can be found all over the world, and they're not planning to go anywhere.

Instead of getting migraines over how you can battle them without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money, embrace their presence.

Dandelions are filled with essential nutrients like iron, manganese, and vitamin C. I put them in my salad every day!

4. Goldenrod

You'll find goldenrods practically everywhere in North America.

They're not the most beautiful plant alongside your peonies, but they're doing the world a service.

These weeds attract pollinators, like migrating butterflies that are at risk of extinction. Save the butterflies and keep these in your garden!

Goldenrods are also believed to be great for UTIs and kidney problems. Put them in your tea, they taste great!

5. Chickweed

Like clovers, chickweed grows in low-fertility soil. My garden bed used to be filled with these weeds.

Chickweed accumulates potassium and phosphorus, so you should let this plant grow and die on its own.

If they're overtaking your garden, cut and hide them under the mulch so that they can decompose. It's their roots that enrich the soil.

6. Pigweed

Pigweed, also known as lamb's quarters, is filled with essential vitamins and minerals.

If you need to substitute spinach, just go to your garden and pick a few of these weeds out.

This weed also works to protect other crops.

According to Den Garden, if you ever see infected leaves with larva, throw them out.

7. Purslane

This annual succulent is beneficial for your health and garden. I've never had them in my garden, but I really wish I did.

Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, calcium, and other vitamins.

Most people buy purslane at their farmer's market, so if you have them, take advantage of this weed!

8. Mullein

I always thought these fuzzy, thick leaves were toxic, but they're actually great for your health.

They're known to fight infections and inflammation when brewed as a tea.

Like broadleaf plantain, they're not a beautiful plant to have growing on your lawn, but some people would beg to differ.

If you let mullein grow, they will blossom. Some people purposely grow these weeds in their garden for its gorgeous yellow flowers.

9. Milkweed

Monarch butterflies go crazy for the sap in milkweeds.

The reason why they love this plant so much is because their larvae only eat milkweed.

Save the pollinators, enrich your soil, and watch these beautiful insects fly around your garden in the summer by letting milkweeds (except tropical kinds) grow.

You can get butterfly garden seeds from Live Monarch for free!

Will you let these weeds grow in your garden from now on?

[H/T: Den Garden / Good Housekeeping / Tenth Acre Farm]

Click here for more gardening hacks.

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Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.