But there are other ways to deal with it. The mulch which is made from this practise has many benefits by returning the to the plants the nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, boron, calcium, all of which are provided by fertilisers are now available to your plants free of charge by the wonders of recycling your plant material to the soil in situ. Cutting it small you could have carried out an ancient practise called chop & drop. This creates a mulch and helps to conserve water, encourage soil life mimicking a forest floor. It suffocates the unwanted plants in that situation helping you to not use a range of chemical treatments and in the longer-term creating soil.
Can all plants be used?
Short answer is yes, they can, including your weeds. However, there are a few things to take note off before you get too excited.
Plants NOT to use. This group of plants contain allelopathic substance, which have an herbicide effect. Some examples of these are black walnut from bark to leaves, sugar maple, hackberry, American sycamore, eucalyptus.
Best plants are those which may be termed Dynamic Accumulators. So, what is a Dynamic Accumulator? These are a group of plants often referred to as deep rooted which are known to contain for extracting minerals and nutrients from the soil and sub soil in your garden, thus making these elements available to the shallower rooted plants they live with. Is this scientifically proven, no but the concept has been under a series of constant trial by gardeners for generations and the positive results encouraging the latter generation of gardeners to continue the tradition. For me I do not require scientific evidence on this topic and will continue using it.
A good portion of these plants are considered weeds by todays opinion others are recognisable as everyday herbs, however, but back in history they had other uses from food to medicine and in my opinion should not be quickly dismissed. Plants like Pigface, Borage, Chickweed, Feverfew as Oregano, Dandelion, Jerusalem Artichoke, or Rhubarb are included in this list.
The full list can be downloaded here.
Tricks to using plants