Common Garden Weeds That You Can Eat

What to do with weeds from your garden need not be a massive puzzle. Weeds can be used to make a general purpose plant feed, or the whole lot can go into a hot composting system (not a cold one though, or you risk spreading some tricky species all over your garden). Alternatively, there are several common weeds that you can eat. What better way to get rid of some common weeds than to put them on your plate? When prepared correctly, these following weeds can be rather tasty:

By Ruth HartnupNettle:

Perhaps the king of edible weeds, nettles are a delicious green that once steamed can be added to any recipe where you might ordinarily use spinach. Just be careful when preparing them. If you do get stung though, do not worry – nettle stings will actually boost your immune system and a dock leaf with take the worst of the sting away when rubbed on the site.

Bob JenkinsDandelion:

Dandelions may be the bane of gardeners who like to keep a tidy lawn but do not get rid of them all just yet! Dandelions can be a valuable edible crop. The leaves are a little bitter but taste good in a mixed salad, especially while they are still young. The flowers can make great fritters. You can even use the root as a coffee substitute.

By Lexy5by5Ground Elder:

If your garden is overrun then you will now what I mean when I say that ground elder is a bit of a thug, spreading its way over the whole place with its spaghetti roots and almost impossible to eradicate as it will regrow from the tiniest bit of root. But if you do struggle with this weed, you can at least keep it down a bit by eating some of it. Raw it is not that nice but the young stems and leaves, pan fried with some olive oil, make a delicious side dish.

By ManuelCleavers/ Sticky willy (Galium aparine):

Before it gets too big and too sticky, pick and eat these weeds as a vegetable side, lightly steamed. This will not only give you some free food, it will also stop you from having a problem with the sticky tendrils and buds you would have to contend with if you were to let the plants grow.

By SimonPlantain (Plantago Major):

The big leaves of this plant will often be found unobserved at the edge of a lawn or beside a path or driveway. This plant has nothing to do with the tropical vegetable of the same name, but it does make a good equivalent to kale or turnip greens if sautéed or steamed.

By Peter O'ConnorRed Clover (Trifolium pretense):

Pop a few of the flower heads and leaves of this lawn regular into your salads for a bit of variety and some healthy micro-nutrients.

By Wendell SmithLamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album):

This is a close relative to spinach and though treated as a weed by most gardeners, it is actually cultivated as a vegetable crop in some parts of the world.