By Timothy Reed June 12th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm
Ah, the humble Dandelion. I am sure that you have seen the Round-Up commercials on TV reviling the Dandelion. Were you to believe their message you would think that you are a barbarian if you allow this …. this …. weed, to exist in your yard. But why would you wish to remove this remarkable plant from your yard? Let’s examine the facts.
- Soils - I once heard a soils scientist visiting North Texas remark about the quality of our dirt. “For most of the landscape plants sold in the United States the soils here are almost toxic”. Our soils are mostly clay with very poor percolation and high plasticity. This means that our soils tend to have trouble taking in water, but when they finally do they expand greatly. Shall we even mention the pH with the alkalinity being so high that almost all the iron that plants need are bound in the soil? What do we do about those nasty soils? Add compost and aerate. Or allow your Dandelions to thrive. That’s right, I said it … keep your weeds. Dandelions have deep tap roots which bore down through our tough clays. These deep tap roots reach down and bring up water and minerals to our shallow rooted grasses. When they die, they leave a hole where water and air can reach deeper soil levels than our thick clay cap will normally allow and the minerals that they brought up from below are left in the compost.
- Nutrition – Ha, got you with that one, didn’t I? Believe it or not Dandelions are totally edible and have a very high nutritional content and for millions of people around the world it is a very important component in their diet. Nutritional highlights that 100 g of raw dandelion greens provides: 187 mg of calcium, 2.7 g of protein, 2959 micrograms of beta carotene, 3.5 g of fiber, 397 mg of potassium, and 6648 micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin. In comparison, Dandelions provide more calcium than milk, more beta carotene than carrots more potassium than a banana. Beekeepers also know that Dandelions are the main source of early pollen because they are one of the first mass bloomers in the spring.
You can't have this...