Arcadia Farms

  (Portage, Michigan)
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Calling All Weed Experts!

Last year I had it in my heart to clear the “Woods” (lightly wooded portion of our 1 acre property) of the abundant weeds growing amidst the trees. Unfortunately I didn’t have it in my schedule nearly as well as I had it in my heart. This year will be different! My goal is to work on pulling weeds during this and next week. I know that nature abhors a vacuum so I’m convinced that if I pull all (realistically, most) of the weeds some other weed will just take up residence. With that in mind, I’d like to sow some kind of beneficial ground cover shortly after the weed-deed is done. (In time I’d like to develop this area into a food forest.)

In the best-case scenario this ground cover would provide food – either for us or our animals. I’d also settle for a ground cover that adds nutrients (like nitrogen) to the soil or attracts beneficial critters (like bees). Any suggestions?

Alas, before the new ground cover goes in, the established weeds must go. Because I’m curious about which native plants are growing here, and because I’d hate to get rid of a beneficial ‘weed’ unwittingly, I was hoping someone out there could help me to identify the weeds growing in my yard.

Mystery Weed #1

Mystery Weed #1

Mystery Weed #1

Mystery Weed #1 Closeup

Mystery Weed #1 Closeup

90% of the green you see in this picture is Mystery Weed #1. It's currently occupying an area near the garden that I would like to replace with new ground cover.

90% of the green you see in this picture (foreground) is Mystery Weed #1. It’s currently occupying an area near the garden that I would like to replace with new ground cover.

Mystery Weed #2

Mystery Weed #2

Mystery Weed #2

Mystery Weed #2 Closeup. This weed is not nearly as prevalent in the yard as Mystery Weed #1.

Mystery Weed #2 Closeup. This weed is not nearly as prevalent in the yard as Mystery Weed #1.

Mystery Weed #3

Either this stuff is new this year or I've just never been observant enough to see it. It's all over the place, including encroaching on the northern edge of the Main Garden.

Either this stuff is new this year or I’ve just never been observant enough to see it. It’s all over the place, including encroaching on the northern edge of the Main Garden.

 

90% of the patch of green in this picture is Mystery Weed #3. These tiny guys almost look like lettuce seedlings to me.

90% of the patch of green in this picture is Mystery Weed #3. These tiny guys almost look like lettuce seedlings to me.

Well there you have it. Who has thoughts or guesses as to what these puppies are? Anyone know of a good resource for identifying native plants/weeds? And don’t forget, if you have ideas on ground cover for this shaded area, I’d love to hear those thoughts as well!

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