Everyone who has a garden will inevitably dislike weeds. They invade your growing seedlings and fight with them for nutrition in the soil, not to mention the hours you spend weeding in the garden (a glass of wine helps!).
What if I told you that you can turn those weeds into great garden mulch while adding nutrition in the soil rather than taking it away?!
Mulch can be one of the best things for your garden.
It suppresses weeds which reduces your garden workload, decomposes back into the soil (which then builds up your soil) and gives plants increased water retention.
There are mulches you lay in-between your garden beds (usually gravel, wood chips, black matting etc) that you walk on and mulch that you put down in-between your vegetable rows (usually something that decomposes like leaves, straw, hay). I’ve review my favorite mulches in this post.
However buying mulch can add up in price, and for the frugal gardeners out there, wild and free weeds can definitely be used as garden mulch!
The trick is to harvest the weeds before they have set seed.
Where to find free mulch
- Grass from yard clippings or mower
- Tall grass (see pic above)
- Dandelion greens (make sure there’s no flowers going to seed!)
- Large burdock leaves
- Deciduous tree leaves (add them in the fall)
You will need to keep applying more throughout the summer as the weeds decompose fast.
Will this work for every garden?
Have you used weeds as garden mulch?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.