Understanding the garden
There are at least a hundred weed species in Dutch gardens, the most notorious and persistent of which are ground elder, horsetail and hawthorn. All three have such strong roots that they are almost impossible to weed. The type of weed in your garden says a lot about the soil and its quality. If you have problems with horsetail, for example, this means that the garden has a shortage of minerals. So there is work to be done if you want to improve it.
Other weed facts: Nettles and ground elder grow in nutrient-rich soil, coltsfoot prefers soil with poor structure and cleavers love nitrogen-rich soil.
Making fertilizer from weeds
It may sound crazy, but you can turn weeds into fertilizer and let the garden benefit from it. Note: we’re not talking about the whole weed, because the seeds in flowers, the flower buds and the roots can’t be used. The stems and leaves can, because they contain minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron and copper. These are very valuable for the garden.
You can shred the stems on the compost heap or make liquid manure from them. The latter is also called slurry and is much faster and easier to make than compost. To do this, you leave the pieces of weeds to rot in a container of rainwater and pour this in with the garden plants. Potted plants especially love this.