5 Weeds You Should Actually Let Grow In Your Yard

If you are proud of your lawn, and what homeowner isn’t, you may be tempted to kill off every weed you see. But before you break out the weed killer and go crazy, you might want to take a step back. Not all weeds are created equal, and there are some weeds that are actually good for your lawn, and the environment.

The next time you mow your lawn, take a closer look at the other plants that are growing there. Here are some weeds you should leave alone, or even encourage to grow.

Dandelions

Lawn Tip 1

Dandelions have long been the bane of lawn-proud homeowners, but these yellow beauties actually have a lot to offer. You have probably heard of colony collapse disorder, a mysterious malady that has been killing off honeybees in droves. What you may not know is that dandelions are good for the honeybee population, and letting them grow in your lawn could help stem the tide.

Honeybees are vital pollinators, spreading seeds and improving the health of the crops that make up our staple diet. If you love your summer peaches, nectarines and other sweet treats, do the bees a favor and let the dandelions be.

Milkweed

Lawn Tip 2

The milkweed plant is poorly named, since it is not a weed at all. A number of beneficial (and beautiful) insects, most notably the gorgeous monarch butterfly, rely on the milkweed plant to lay their eggs and propogate their species.

If every homeowner destroyed the milkweed in their yard, it could be devastating to the monarch butterfly population. If you love the look of these majestic insects, let your milkweed plants alone and give them a real treat on their next flyover.

Goldenrod

Lawn Tip 3

You may think of goldenrod as an unsightly weed, but this striking yellow flower is actually a vital part of the ecosystem. If you love to watch the butterflies in your garden, thank the goldenrod in your yard. Migrating butterflies love to feast on goldenrod, and removing it from your lawn could make your summer a lot less colorful.

You do not have to let goldenrod take over your lawn, but leaving a few of these yellow beauties at the edge of the yard is good for the environment. You may even want to pull a few goldenrod plants to transplant them to the edge of your garden.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Lawn Tip 4

If you spot a plant that looks like a sunflower but isn’t, you could have a bumper crop of Jerusalem artichoke growing in your lawn. The Jerusalem artichoke is considered a weed because it grows so fast and can completely take over the area where it grows.

Fortunately for you, the Jerusalem artichoke is also a delicious ingredient for salads, side dishes and meals. There are countless ways to use this delicious plant, so put down the weed killer, pick up your shovel and get ready for the harvest.

Thistle

Lawn Tip 5

Not every homeowner will appreciate the prickly thistle plant, and some will still consider it an unsightly weed. Even so, there are plenty of reasons to let thistle grow wild in your lawn, especially if you are an avid bird watcher.

If you want to attract beautiful goldfinches to your backyard, providing them with a bumper crop of thistle is a great way to start. Birds love to feast on thistle plants, and thistle is home to many other important parts of the food chain as well. If you can’t stomach thistle at the front of the house, go ahead and remove them. Just leave a wild growth of thistle in the backyard, fill up the bird bath and watch the finches dine.

Caring for your lawn does not have to involve constantly spraying for weeds. If you take good care of your grass and keep your lawn healthy, it should be able to fight off many invasive intruders and common weeds. Letting the five plants listed above grow wild can increase the biodiversity of your property and bring more wildlife to your home.
2016-11-08T13:36:03+00:00

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