Deblen the Tree & Turf Doctor

How is your soil doing? What are the weeds telling you?

How is your soil doing? What are the weeds telling you?

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Nutrient-Deprived Soil

If you see these weeds, your soil needs an overhaul. The good news is, it’s an easy fix. The hardest part is actually tilling it, which is the process of turning the soil over either by hand with a shovel or with a rototiller machine. Once the soil has been tilled, you can add nutrients to replenish it, such as compost, manure, and planting mix. 

  • Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) grows where the soil has nothing left to give. Remove it, apologize, and amend your soil. 

  • Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are always a sign that the area generally has nutrient-deprived soil. 

  • Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea), indicates serious neglect in the soil-nutrition department. 

  • Plantain (Plantago spp.), as previously mentioned, thrives in some of the direst of conditions and requires next-to-no care or feeding to do so.

  • Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), in spite of its royal-sounding name, indicates depleted, poor soil.

  • White clover (Trifolium repens), though beautiful, indicates your soil is nitrogen-deprived. 

Nutrient-Rich Soil

Not all weeds herald bad news or neglectful gardening. Many weeds indicate the soil areas are rich in certain ingredients for a happy, healthy garden. 

  • Chickweed (Stellaria media or Cerastium spp.) is at home in alkaline soil high in nitrogen. 

  • Chicory (Cichorium spp.), similarly, likes rich soil high in nitrogen.

  • Common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) sprouting in the garden bed also means nutrient-rich soil. 

  • Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) grows where there is high nitrogen. 

  • Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) is a sign of potassium-rich soil.

  • Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) demonstrates a soil full of both potassium and nitrogen though likely low in phosphorus.  

  • Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) may change your mind about weeds. This lovely plant is not only one of the prettier weeds out there, it only grows in truly fertile soil. 




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