Yellow dandelions in mulch
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Here's What Your Weeds Can Tell You About The Quality Of
Your Soil
Weeds are sometimes called “indicator species,” as their presence can provide information about the issues facing your garden’s soil, including pH levels and any deficiencies.
Clover and buckthorn plantains thrive in alkaline soil, while weedy, ornamental plants like broomsedge or red sorrel enjoy acidic soil. Use lime as needed to correct pH levels.
Lush dandelions, wild mustard, and chickweeds are a sign that the soil is slightly acidic, but they become lifeless with yellow foliage when pH levels drop below 5.0.
Weeds such as redroot and quackgrass appear when the iron-manganese ratio is up for a toss. Horsetails and stinging nettle can pop up in your yard when it’s missing calcium.
Mosses, moneywort, and annual bluegrass do well in soil with excess moisture, while knotweed, crabgrass, and woodsorrel are signs your soil struggles to retain water.
Finally, if your turf experiences high foot traffic or infrequent aeration, the compacted soils may get overridden by chicory and corn speedwell.
Use caution as these results may not always be correct since weeds are highly adaptive and able to survive in many opposing conditions. Get your soil tested to settle the debate.