Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Defining a Weed

As I visited a local garden I noticed some plants that were not producing the way they should. In the past, I have noticed plants like these in my garden. Although unproductive plants are not necessarily weeds, it is noteworthy to recognize plants that fit the mould of a weed. When these plants are left in the garden to take up space, they extract the garden’s resources without giving the gardener the pleasure of a “good” crop.

According to Merrium Webster, a weed is a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants. For me, a weed can be a cultivated plant that is “not wanted” or a plant that as takes up space (and light) that could be better used for productive plants.

Though it sounds cruel, there are many good reasons to pull up or cut down a weedy garden plant. Here are a few:

1. If a plant dithers.

A Watermelon vine that is just not growing well

2. If a plant does not produce well.

Many of my peppers didn't get posted about because of poor production

3. If a whole plant becomes diseased.

Some kind of mosiac or curly top virus on a tomato plant

4. If a plant grows too large, without producing much.

Tomatoes are great - except if you have a huge plant with no tomatoes on it

5. If my family doesn’t like the veggies I produce.

My family doesn't care much for Brussel Sprouts

With my garden consisting of a small plot, it is important for me to cut down or remove ineffective plants that shade out useful plants. Though any cultivated plant may be fun to grow for some people, productive and useful plants are those that bring me the most joy.


  1. Glad to see you posting again.

    1. Thanks! Life has been super crazy, but I have a lot to blog about now. (=

  2. I agree that if a plant is not useful it should be a weed. I view many cultivars this way as I prefer now the natives that do more for the garden and wildlife. And of course growing only those plants that produce enough fruits and veggies that i love to eat.

    1. Dear Donna,
      I haven't grown any natives except for the Tepary beans. I appreciate the insight.


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