I decided to adopt an organic lawn treatment program this year. So, no pre-emergents, no weed killing pesticides and no artificial kick-start fertilizers.
My lawn consist of a mix of Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses. Now that warm weather has hit, the St. Augustine is starting to green up. But the Bermuda is still waiting for hotter weather and is relatively dormant.
Even so, there are still patches of green in the brown, dormant Bermuda grass. And it’s driving my wife crazy. Normally she would be out there with a spray bottle of Round Up spot killing all the little weeds that are popping up. I’ve told her that an organic program is going to take some time to take hold and that we’re going to have to live with the early spring weeds until the grass starts coming in. At least for a season or two.
So, now she goes out and pulls them up.
And don’t think I can’t hear you grumbling under your breath, honey. Sweetie.
The other day I noticed she pulled up a patch of purslane, a really healthy plant, so I started looking at what other good-for-you weeds I might find in the lawn. I found three types right off the bat. So I pulled and bagged them up.
Add a little oil and vinegar and a tomato. Lunch.
What were the three healthy weeds I found growing in my early spring, dormant lawn?
We all know what dandelion looks like. Broad leaves with long stems and yellow flowers.
And it just so happens that I actually cultivate dandelion in a plot in the Bell Back 400 garden. So I’m really familiar with the health benefits of all parts of the plant. I use the leaves in smoothies and salads, and make herbal tinctures from the roots.
Dandelion is one of the most ‘chock full of benefits’ weeds you can find. From flower to root, they provide a wide range of health benefits including:
- Liver and kidney cleansing
- Cancer and virus fighting
- Blood sugar management
- Skin blemish care via the stem sap
- Higher in vitamin content than most green vegetables
I could go on and on about the benefits of growing dandelion. Oh wait, I already have. Here.
Purslane is a broad leaf green weed that pops out when the weather gets warm. It can be invasive and it can block the growth of new grass. But it is also just so good for you.
Some of the benefits of purslane include:
- Cleansing of the urinary and digestive systems
- High in antioxidants and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Rich in minerals such as manganese, zinc, calcium and copper
- High levels of CoQ-10 (cell energy)
- Lowering LDL (bad cholesterol)
Also known as winter weed, chickweed is another green broad leaf plant that produces white flowers. Chickweed can also be invasive and seeds easily. But most spring grasses will push it out of the lawn.
But why wait. Pull it up and add it to your next salad or stir fry.
The benefits of chickweed include:
- High in minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, zinc and selenium.
- Rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, niacin and C.
- Nourishes the lymph and glandular systems
- Treats intestinal disorders
- Skin healing
There you have it. A healthy lunch really can be pulled right from your lawn. Just one of the many good reasons to adopt an organic lawn care program. Cause I don’t think I would be munching on weeds coming from a lawn inundated with artificial fertilizers and chemical weed killers.
But go natural, and your yard can be a healthy, fresh alternative to store bought lettuces and greens.
And please check out our new edible gardening community:
Whether you are growing tomatoes on your patio or have a backyard full of herbs and produce, you are Farming Suburbia.