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 Post subject: Weeds are Good
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:30 pm
Posts: 4
Location: McKinney
Below is an article that states that weeds might be beneficial. What do you think?

Weeds are Good
18-Jun-2003

Jennifer Viegas writes in Discovery News that if our flowers and vegetables are surrounded by weeds, they're less likely to be attacked by insects. By adding and removing weeds from around test plants, horticulturists Stan Finch and Rosemary Collier found that insects would investigate the weeds, find them unsuitable and often fly away, leaving the valuable plants alone.
Plant-eating bugs look for three things: plant smells that tell them when to land, visual cues that tell them where to land, and the touch and taste of the plants, which tell them if they should stay or fly away. Finch says, "To paraphrase one of the songs made popular by 'Meatloaf,' 'Two out of three ain't bad.'…[But] plant-feeding insects must get three out of three from an appropriate plant if they, and their progeny, are to survive."

Finch and Collier compared cabbages planted in bare soil with cabbages grown in fields of clover. 36% of root flies laid eggs on the bare soil cabbage, compared to only 7% on the cabbages surrounded by clover.

Horticulturist Don Mahoney says most weeds also produce small flowers that attract helpful insects, like ladybugs, that prey on damaging bugs, like aphids. He says, "I once read where weeds were described as 'Mother Nature's Red Cross.'"


http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=2818


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
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Location: McKinney,TEXAS
rcooper-
I understand what you're asking and want to thank-you for posting this article.
Two different thoughts come to my mind when I read it, monocultures (rows of cabbage, rows of elm trees, etc) rarely exist in nature and, with the exception of hybridized plants, weren't all plants weeds at one time?
Tony


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:52 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
And what are weeds to some are desirable plants to others. I have been told many times that the reason my herb garden is so successful is that most culinary herbs are weeds at heart! The purslane that is so potentially invasive for some gardeners is a rich source of vitamin C and is really tasty in salads and lightly sauteed for a stir-fry!
I use herbs as companion plants for some of my vegetables - garlic around roses are good companions, too. As for invasiveness, I just put the aggressive ones adjacent to each other, and they control each other very well! My bees love the oregano and marjoram flowers as well.


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 Post subject: Re:weeds
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:53 am
Posts: 21
Location: Austin, Texas
Purslane, chickweed, pigweed and henbit are weeds that are seen in soil that is well balanced and friable. And the first two are edible. I always leave the purslane in my garden - I love the flavor in salads or stir fry. Weeds can act as a living mulch.


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