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National Weed Appreciation Day

Last Updated: April 16, 2024

Written by Karen Norman
National Garden Weed Day

National Weed Appreciation Day – Respect for Weeds!

“To Weed or not to Weed, that is the Garden” – Source unknown. 

Did you know that March 28th is National Weed Appreciation Day? [No, not that kind LOL 🙂 Gardens Weeds]. Weed Appreciation Day is an annually occurring event. It is unclear who founded National Weed Appreciation Day or how long it has been designated a National Day.

What is a Weed?

A weed is any plant growing in cultivated ground where it was not planned or wanted. These plants are generally fast-growing and fast-spreading because they are inclined to produce many seeds. As a result, their seed has a high survival rate while dormant, and the very act of soil cultivation will activate new growth.

They are plants that make a nuisance of themselves, and they tend to be displeasing to us, humans. Frustratingly they will often grow in awkward-to-reach places or in areas where you would least expect any plant to thrive such as under a deck.  

They can have deep roots, so if you do not dig deep enough to get rid of them, you will only have skimmed the plant’s surface, and they will grow back stronger than ever. Weeds can be harmful to crops; some starve crops of much-needed water and nutrients. That said, some weeds are beneficial to us and our Eco-System. That is what National Weed Appreciation Day is all about.

What Weeds are Beneficial?

Some weeds, by contrast, can extract nutrients that can be beneficial to the plants growing around them. They are also good for the soil because they act as natural compost and fertilize the ground when they die. They attract pollinators. You can honour National Weed Appreciation Day by exploring the benefits of weeds.

Here are Six Beneficial Weeds

  • Dandelion – Its scientific name is taraxacum offinale. A weed that grows quickly and spreads easily. Not everyone even thinks of a dandelion as a weed. Some consider it to be an herb. When in season, all parts of the Dandelion can be eaten. Dandelions are used in herbal medicine. It is good for pollination. According to Medical News Today: Dandelions have ten health benefits. They:
    • Are a source of antioxidants
    • Lower Cholesterol
    • Regulate Blood Sugar
    • Reduce Inflammation
    • Regulate Blood Pressure
    • Assist Weight Loss
    • Lower Cancer Risk
    • Boost the Immune System
    • Help Digestion
    • Maintain Good Skin Health

That is a phenomenal list, and you can find more details in the link above.

  • Daisies – or Bellis Perennis. Two interesting Facts about Daisies are:
    • “Daisy" originated from an old phrase: “Daes eage," which means ‘days eye." Have you ever noticed how daisies close their petals at the end of the day and reopen them when the sun comes up?
    • Daisies are edible and make a great addition to a salad.
    • Daisies attract Bees. 
  • Nettle – or Stinging Nettle. Its scientific name is Urtica dioica. Young plants can be eaten, but take care; they can sting you too. They need to be cooked or dried first, and we strongly advise you to do your research before attempting anything. Nettles have been used to make herbal teas and herbal medicine since ancient times. According to Organic Facts, Stinging Nettles are:
    • a comprehensive source of Nutrients
    • they are great for detoxifying the body
    • may reduce inflammation
    • reduce skin infections
    • help with hay fever, asthma and allergies
    • good for hair growth

More details can be found in the link above.

  • Clover – Its scientific name is Trifolium. White Clover attracts ladybugs or, if you are English, Ladybirds. Their flowers are edible and can be used in Salads. It is apparently used in herbal medicine as a blood cleanser and for gout. Again, it is good for pollination.
  • Borage – Its scientific name is Borago officinalis. The leaves can be used in salad. It is used as a medicinal herb, and its seeds can be pressed to make borage seed oil.
  • Wild Rose – As an Alberta Business, how could we not mention the Wild Rose? Its name is Rosa acicularis. It has been the Provincial Flower of Alberta since 1930. It is found growing wild all over Alberta and BC. It has pink petals and prickly stems. Rosehips from the Wild Rose can be used in herbal teas, as can its Leaves and Flowers. It is also used for jams and jellies too. In particular, Alberta’s wildlife enjoys the red rosehips.

How to Clean away the Weeds

There are several options to keep your garden clean of weeds.

  • You can control it with Mulch – By covering the ground around a plant, the mulch blocks the sunlight which weeds need to thrive on.
  • You can pull them out – Make sure you get all the roots. This works when the ground is soft, not hard. Breaking up the soil with a garden hoe first will help.
  • Reduce the space by putting planned plants in the ground. Essentially, do not give the weeds room to grow.
  • Cut off the heads of the weeds as an interim measure. When you do not have time to do your garden weeding, taking the tops off will help prevent the spread of their seed.
  • You can starve the weeds of water by only watering your cultivated plants.
    Of course, there are always weed-killing sprays too.

Three of our Favorite Weed Quotes

  • “A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered" – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • “The only difference between a flower and a weed is judgment" – Dr. Wayne Dyer.
  • “When life is not coming up roses, look to the weeds and find the beauty hidden within them." – L. F. Young.

Did You Know?

Each summer, your air ducts collect lots of dust and pollen from weeds, trees, fields and flowers, so if you have any allergies after switching your air conditioning or heating on, then you may benefit from having a Dang Good Air Duct Cleaning Service. View the page link to find out what our low-cost service entails.

You may also like…

Our National Love a Tree Day blog.

Our How to Clean a Deck blog.

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