Did you know that you can pick wild greens, also known as edible weeds, from your garden and eat them? Identifying edible weeds can be fun and may encourage you to weed your garden more often. Let’s take a look at eating the wild outdoor greens you have in your yard.
A Caution on Edible Weeds
Before you start eating the weeds from your garden, make sure you know what you are eating. Not all weeds are edible and some weeds (flowers and plants as well, for that matter) are highly toxic. Never eat any plant from your garden without first knowing that it is edible and whether it is toxic or not.
Also note that, just like fruit and vegetable plants, not all parts of edible weeds are edible. Only eat the parts of edible weeds that you know are safe to eat.
Harvesting Edible Weeds
Edible weeds are only edible if the area you will be picking them from has not been treated with chemicals. Just like you would not want to eat vegetables from your garden if you have sprayed many unsafe chemicals around, you do not want to eat weeds that have been sprayed with lots of unsafe chemicals.
Pick weeds only from areas where you are certain they have not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.
After harvesting wild greens, make sure to wash them thoroughly.
A List of Edible Weeds and Wild Greens
- Burdock – roots
- Chickweed – young shoots and tender tips of shoots
- Chicory – leaves and roots
- Creeping Charlie – leaves, often used in teas
- Dandelions – leaves, roots and flowers
- Garlic Mustard – roots and young leaves
- Japanese Knotweed – young shoots less than 8 inches and stems (do not eat mature leaves)
- Lambsquarters – leaves and stems
- Little Bittercress or Shotweed – whole plant
- Nettles – young leaves (must be cooked thoroughly)
- Pigweed – leaves and seeds
- Plantain – leaves (remove stems) and seeds
- Purslane – leaves, stems and seeds
- Sheep’s Sorrel – leaves
- Violets – young leaves and flowers
- Wild Garlic – leaves and roots
Your yard and flower beds hold a wealth of tasty and nutritious wild greens. These edible weeds can add some interest and fun to your diet and weeding chores.
Learn more about how weeds can be a good thing in this video: