Top 10 Edible Weeds

Weeds have such a bad reputation that we decided to take some time to shine a positive light on these outcasts. You see, there are many weeds living in your yard that are actually very beneficial to your health and your wallet. So before you go destroying all the weeds in your backyard, consider a culinary approach.

Dandelions 1.  Dandelion - The dreaded dandelion is one of the most versatile weeds in your lawn. They can be brewed into wine, the leaves used in salads and the flowers eaten raw.
Knotweed 2.  Japanese Knotweed - Harvest the young red and green shoots before they grow beyond 6 inches. Remove any tough leaves or rind, then steam or simmer for a rhubarb-like taste.
Plantain 3.  Plantain - Not to be confused with the tropical fruit, the plantain’s broad leaves can be used in salads when young or sautéed as they get older. Plantain seeds can be eaten raw or roasted.
Creeping Charlie 4.  Creeping Charlie - Rich in Vitamin C, the young leaves can be eaten raw like spinach. We’ve even heard rumors of Creeping Charlie being brewed as a tea or used as an additive to beer!
Purslane 5.  Purslane - Dubbed the healthy weed, purslane contains antioxidants, vitamins A and C and omega-3 fatty acids. Use the leaves and stems in recipes calling for spinach such as salads, sandwiches and quiches.
Watercress 6.  Watercress - Watercress grows on almost any riverbank or stream and is another leafy spinach substitute. Pick watercress in the spring before it becomes bitter, wilt it, then add some bacon and balsamic vinegar. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out www.watercress.com for some other unique recipes.
Lambs Quarter 7.  Lamb's Quarters - Loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium and protein, this leafy weed is commonly referred to as ‘wild spinach’. Sauté the washed leaves in olive oil with some salt, pepper and garlic for an easy side dish.
Banboo 8.  Bamboo - While not a common weed, bamboo is very invasive, grows like a weed (pun intended) and is hard to control (all the attributes of weed behavior), earning it a spot on our list. Bamboo shoots taste like corn and are full of fiber. Ensure that you boil bamboo properly as some species contain cyanogen, which can be very toxic.
Kudzu 9.  Kudzu - The most invasive weed in the southern United States is also an edible plant. Kudzu leaves can be brewed into a tea which can allegedly help soothe colds, fevers, digestive issues and even allergies.
Chicory 10.  Chicory - Chicory roots are a perfect additive to coffee, helping you extend your supply or lower your caffeine intake. Aside from roasting the root, you can use young chicory leaves or flowers in salads.

Harvesting wild plants and weeds can be dangerous if you incorrectly identify them or if they grow near a contaminated water source. If you aren’t sure, leave it alone—eating a weed is certainly not worth risking your health.

The next time you curse the weeds, think about the tasty possibilities instead. Of course, if you want to control them instead, contact your local NaturaLawn® of America franchise here for a healthier approach to weed control.

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I wanted to write and let you know how pleased I am with NaturaLawn of America.  I had never used a lawn service before.  I’m against putting more chemicals into the environment, so I decided to see what you could do organically.  My lawn was 1 ½ years old – builder grade seed on builder soil! It was a lawn in need of some help, but I didn’t know how wonderful it could look.
 
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Don Strei – Elk River, MN

A walk around my yard compels me to set aside time to tell you how pleased I am with the condition and appearance of my lawn.  I have heard for years that one could not establish a decent lawn in Richmond without devoting a tremendous amount of time, energy and money to getting it done.  I took that as a challenge.  Despite my best efforts, including a fair run with another lawn care service, the results were disappointing.  I began to believe that story.
 
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Joe Sullivan – Richmond, VA

My lawn is beautiful.  It has never looked this good.  It looks like lush green velvet.  We only had one dandelion this spring and it was on the edge of our property, so it must have been the neighbor’s!

Jennifer L. Lloyd – Bear, DE

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