Hey there friend,
Ready to get some sunshine and fresh air, move around and maybe get your hands dirty? We’re coming to you with another observe + interact challenge today.
Your challenge is to identify “weeds” and pull unwanted species - only very mindfully!
You have probably been pulling weeds all summer, but now is a good time to give your landscape a good once-over to make sure it is clear of unwanted weeds so they don’t continue to slowly expand or repopulate.
Remember what we consider a weed isn’t the usual!
Many species conventional landscapers pull are actually native and beneficial to both the pollinators and your blooms. So we’re flipping the script again and asking that you are mindfully selective in this chore.
For a handy cheat sheet, get our Mindful CleanUp Guide and check out the “Weeds 101” section.
A few common species we always keep in the beds for their ground cover function and additional ecosystem services are:
Anything that spreads gently without taking over other plants is a great “green mulch” option.
Species we keep in the yard because they are medicinal, good for the soil and low-mow already:
Remember: if it’s not native, it’s not necessarily bad/invasive/aggressive. It’s likely even medicinal. But it’s not as beneficial for our native pollinators. So choose mindfully in balance.
A few things we often pull from beds:
We organized all this info for you on our Weeds 101 chart, which you can find in the Mindful CleanUp Guide here.
Ideally this chore is done before the unwanted species goes to seed, but if you didn’t get a chance to weed at the end of the summer, it’s never too late to make your spring chores a little easier.
Weeding is a good move for your desirable plants and for the overall visual appeal of your gardens. It will also help prepare your garden for some of the other tasks you will be doing this time of year.
Mindful EarthCare Tip: Be sure to identify things you pull out and record them in your Nature journal (see welcome email). Weeds can tell us a ton about the conditions of the site, and what grows best there! This will help you choose better plants in the spring :)
For example: thistle often grows in hard compacted clay soils, and it’s function is to break that soil up with its deep corkscrew root! So don’t rush to remove it until it’s done it’s job for you - but feel free to stop it from re-populating (going to seed) if you don’t want a ton more next year.
You can add pulled weeds to the compost pile or bin that you made previously, during Challenge #3. Just make sure the roots are left facing up, to dry out in the sun, and avoid any chance of re-rooting.
If you skipped the previous challenges, it’s okay! Check it out in the archive here, and consider trying out a super simple compost pile setup.