Importance of Weeds or Benefits or Advantages Derived from Weeds
1) Weeds Add Organic Matter and Nutrients to the Soil:
Many weeds have luxuriant leafy growth and when buried in the soil as green manure add considerable amount of organic matter and plant nutrients.
Weeds add about 5 to 15 tonnes of green matter per hectare depending upon weed species and their growth.
Nutrient contents of some weeds are given below:
Gokhru (Xanthium strumarium) – 3 to 3.5 % N
Bavachi ( Psoralea corylifolia) – 3 to 3.5 % N
Leguminous weeds – 1.5 to 6 % N.
2) Weeds Check Wind, Water and Soil Erosion:
Weeds growing on desert lands, waste lands and sloppy fields lower wind and water erosion and also help for protection of the environment.
3) Some of the Weeds are used as Fodder for Animal:
Some weeds have good palatable taste.
4) Some of the Weeds are used as Leafy Vegetables:
E. g 1. Tandulaja (Amaranthus Polygamus)
2. Math (Amaranthus viridis)
3. Kunjru ( Digera arvensis)
4. Ghol ( Portulaca spp)
5. Pathari ( Lactuca runcinata)
5) Some of the Weeds have Medicinal Value:
i) Gumma ( Leuclas aspera) Used in snake bite
ii) Oil of Piwals dhotra – Useful against skin disease.
iii) Maka ( Eclipta erecta)- Against cough and as hair oil.
6) Some of the Weeds have Economic Importance:
Kans (Saccharum spontaneum) – Used for thatching purpose and breeding sugarcane varieties for including hardiness.
Nutgrass/ Nutsedge – For making essence sticks (Udbatties)
7) Reclamation of Alkali Soils:
The application of powder of the weed stayanashi piwala dhotra ( Argemone Mexicana) @ 2.5 tonnes/ha is useful for reclamation of alkali soils.
8) Some of the Weeds Serves as Ornamental and Hedge Plants:
Ghaneri ( Lantana camara) and Cactus – Used as ornamental and hedge plants.
Ghol( Portulaca spp) – For beautiful flowers.
9) Certain Weeds have Nematicidal Properties (Control of Nematodes)
Crotalaria spp; Calotropis spp, Parthenium etc. when incorporated in to the soil help for control of nematodes.
10) Weeds can be used for Paper Pulp, Bio-gas and Manufacture of Edible Proteins.
11) Some of the Weeds are used for Religious Purpose E. g Hariali, Aghada, Maka etc.