Friday, July 4, 2008

Useful weeds discovery of the day.

Nettle, comfrey and nasturtium are a great combination of weeds to add to compost. Between them they access all the nutrients in the ground that plants need. They are all great plants in their own right and grow readily in the cooler seasons in this climate.

Nettles: good indicator of plenty of nitrogen in the ground. Highly nutritious edible leaves - after wearing gloves to pick them they are not prickly once cooked.

Comfrey - brilliant for compost and 'poo tea' for gardens. It has a long root system so it can bring up nutrients that are a bit below others range. The leaves can then be used for the above applications. It also has medicinal uses, which are controversial. It is also edible in small doses. Comfrey is probably a weed in some wetter areas than Perth.

Nasturtium: common nasturtium is quite rampant in the cooler rainy season but is easily controlled by pulling up. The flowers are edible and look good in salads. There are other varieties of nasturtium that behave a bit better and stay where you plant them. The Alaska nasturtium (pictured above) is a variegated variety that stays put.

Of course, always check before foraging for weeds that no one has sprayed or its not getting road run-off or some nastiness on it.

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