I know this is going to sound crazy to many of you, but I let some weeds grow in my garden on purpose. This wasn't always the case. When I was growing up on the farm, we had a huge garden for fresh eating and preserving. With long, straight rows of veggies and paths in between each row, weeding was a never ending chore. My stepdad used to run the tiller up and down the paths, while the rows themselves were tediously weeded by hand. Inevitably by the end of the season, weeds that escaped the hoe would be overgrown and seeding out, to be tilled into the soil and start the whole cycle again. I dreamed of a garden without weeds.
Fast forward to the 90's, and my very own garden beds to arrange any way I wanted. I discovered the magic of mulch and planting in blocks instead of rows with nekked empty space between. Instead of dirt paths that turned to dust when things got dry and mud when it got wet, I had raised beds with tidy paths between, perfect for a suburban yard. Then things changed again. Attached to the end of another article a friend had copied off for me was a page of another manuscript – “Weeds: Guardians of the Soil“. It caught my eye, but I had no idea where to read more as the book was no longer in print, and the friend passed away. [Read more…]