Saturday, 5 May 2007

Old Dud Murdoch on Weeds

This small article comes from one of South Australia's great backyard gardeners and recyclers, Dud Murdoch, who died about a decade ago, but lives on in "Dud's corner" - small snippets he wrote for The Living Soil, the Journal of the Soil Assocaition of South Australia. This one - on weeds - comes from 1992. Dud was a retired farmer - he always said he was responsible for growing the biggest acreage of Horehound (a noxious weed) in the state...

"If the concept of a weed is a plant one doesn't want, well, I have no weeds. Every plant that grows in our garden is used one way or another.
Marshmallows are encouraged under the Nectarine and Peach trees; hung in the branches they ward off curly leaf. Nasturtiums under the Apple trees keep off woolly aphids; Stinging Nettles don't do our Lettuces any harm. Wild Turnip, wild Oats and Barley grass from the Mallee hay we use for mulch are easily pulled up and go to the compost heap.
Kikuyu lawn clippings also make a layer in compost container, which is aerobic and takes layers of weeds(?), plant refuse, pigeon manure and soil.
What to me and many others, is a horrible, noxious weed, but to Chelsea Flower Show in London, is known as an herb; Horehound, also makes compost
Dud Murdoch
TLS Nov-Dec 1992 p9."


Maggie said...

I have a book called Garden weeds bought for 50c at an op shop. The first sentence is What is a 'weed'? The best definition is a plant growing in the wrong place. A plant may become a weed merely because of its locality: one that is a weed in one location maybe highly prized in another. Out favorite weeds are dandelion, fennel & nettles; all of which we eat. Weeds are actually very beautiful.

Kate said...

Any weeds at my place end up as chook food or in the compost, if nothing else.Therefore I don't classify them as weeds, really. Only thing is they sometimes outgrow the vegetables. My most recent weed was those darn self-sown pumpkins which outgrew everything but at least I got paid for them !!

Anonymous said...