Listen to Your Weeds!

Put your ear to the ground and hear what your weeds are saying about your soil.

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What do you do when you see a weed in the garden? Jump in and frantically hack away with a hoe? Throw up your hands in despair? Learn something?

Yes, learn something! Those weeds are excellent indicators of soil conditions. In fact, experts known as geochemical botanists often look for specific weeds to help them locate minerals in the soil and to pinpoint geological features. You can apply this science in your own backyard in two ways: to plant garden crops that will thrive in the same conditions as those weeds or to amend your soil so that the conditions are less inviting to the weeds you find there.

Here are the most reliable weedy indicators and what they reveal about your soil.

Photo: (cc) Howard Dickins/Flickr

 
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