|A clover plant thriving in a nutrient-depleted patch.|
Still, I rather admire weeds. If you look at them from the plants' perspective, weeds are the ones that manage to survive even after people have done everything they can to get rid of them. To make our outdoor classroom, humans removed all the vegetation and reseeded with very thick grass to completely out-compete the weeds for sunlight and nutrients, but the weeds found a way.
|Spring cress, false-strawberry and a dandelion battling their way into our lawn.|
|A spurge weed with milky sap - tear the stems and notice it oozes a white liquid.|
Another reason I admire weeds is that they provide variety to the types of habitats available for other organisms. The more types of plants that grow in an area, then the more types of insects and birds and mammals and other species you can have. Variety of types of living organisms is called biodiversity. A pure, uniform lawn is like a desert in terms of biodiversity, because it only has one type of organism. Weeds increase the biodiversity of our outdoor classroom.
Do you think weeds are more likely to be found in the middle of the lawn or at the edges of it? You can experiment to find the answer. Use a small hula hoop as your measuring device. Throw the hula hoop randomly onto the grass in the center of the lawn and count how many weeds are present in the circle. Then randomly toss the hoop on the grass at the edge and count weeds again. Do this a couple more times, and you should have your answer. Now you just have to figure out an explanation for why you think weeds prefer one habitat over the other.