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Why do you get Weeds in your Permaculture Garden?

Anyone who gardens, has a garden or has seen other people garden, will tell you that weeds are very painful and unwanted! A gardener invariably spends a major part of her time de-weeding her garden. But have you ever wondered why nature has created so many weeds in the first place and what is their role? After all, nature could not possibly have created weeds just to keep us humans gainfully employed!

Weeds are pioneering species - they are the first and fastest to emerge on naked soil. Soil does not like to be naked - it always wants to be covered with vegetation. This is because naked soil can either dry up in the sun, or get eroded with flowing water, both of which are a threat to the living organisms in the soil.

To protect itself from either of the two situations, soil produces fast growing pioneering species, which we call weeds. You can tell from the kind of weeds generated, what threat the soil was facing. In the case of over watering or heavy rainfall, thick grasses will emerge which have very strong roots that bind soil together. When you pull out these weeds, you will find a clump of soil coming out as well.

In the case of exposure to sun, more leafy weeds will emerge that will try to cover as much surface area as possible and shade out the soil. Their foliage will be heavy and wide spread.

Human's have an obsession with managing weeds. We look at every plant which has not been planted purposefully by us as 'unwanted' and as a 'weed'. The truth is, these plants are very useful, and many of them have edible and/or medicinal properties.

So next time you see weeds in your garden, ask yourself. What message is your soil trying to give you? Are you over watering? Or have you tilled the soil and left it exposed to the sun?

Take remedial action immediately. Our ethical task is to keep the soil organisms alive and thriving!

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